(ABC News) Despite ultra-low interest rates, an analysis by Zillow indicates that homeowners paid more for their homes in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to relative to median income levels than they did from 1985 through 1999.

This was the case for homeowners in 24 of the 30 largest metropolitan areas analyzed by real estate website Zillow, led by New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Zillow’s chief economist, Stan Humphries, warns that historically low mortgage rates are creating the “illusion” of home affordability, especially in light of stagnant income levels. So, while people are paying more of their income for homes, in terms of real dollars they are now paying nearly 37 percent less per month compared with the pre-bubble period.

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