Housing at Its Most Affordable Level in Four Years

AL – September 5, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — Housing affordability improved from April to June of this year for the third consecutive quarter, according to the most recent survey results of the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index HOI), which were released on Aug. 19.

Homes in this year’s second quarter were roughly the most affordable they have been since the second quarter of 2004, according to the index.

Also, for the first time since the HOI was created in 1991, the least affordable major housing market in the U.S. was located outside of California.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis held onto its standing as the most affordable major U.S. housing market for the 12th consecutive time, the survey showed.

“The latest HOI reading shows that 55% of all new and existing homes that were sold during the second quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $61,500,” said NAHB President Sandy Dunn.

“Several factors combined to increase housing affordability nationwide,“ she said. “There was a marginal rise in mortgage rates, which still remain near the historically low levels of a few years ago; family income nationwide held steady; and house prices were lower.”

In Indianapolis, 91.6% of homes sold in the second quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median household income of $65,100.

Also at the top of the list of most affordable major metros were: Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.; Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich.; and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich., in descending order.

The most affordable metro market with a population of less than 500,000 was Canton-Massillon, Ohio, where 96.7% of all homes sold in the second quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median household income of $54,600.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. was the nation’s least affordable major housing market, with a scant 11.4% of new and existing homes sold during the second quarter affordable to those earning the median family income of $63,000.

The other most unaffordable major metros, in descending order, were: San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla.; and Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.

In smaller markets with less than 500,000 people, the least affordable were San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.; Ocean City, N.J.; Napa, Calif.; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; and Salinas, Calif., respectively.


NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) is a trade association that helps promote the policies that make housing a national priority. Since 1942, NAHB has been serving its members, the housing industry, and the public at large.


Ann Marie Moriarty

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