Business: Doubling the Bills

The big rise in the purchase price of the average U.S. house (see chart preceding page) only begins to measure how expensive home ownership is becoming; mortgage interest rates, utility bills and property taxes are climbing even faster. As every homeowner knows, the key figure in determining whether a house can be afforded is the total of monthly payments—and in the past six years, the cash outlay needed to buy and maintain what is now a moderately priced house ($35,500) in a middle-class suburb has almost doubled. The national average bills each month on such a house: 1968 1974

Principal and Interest...

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