Housing Affordability Remains Near Record High

November 19, 2010 No Comments »


During the third quarter, 72.1 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400, per the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released Thursday.

The index wasn’t far off the record high 72.5 percent set during the first quarter of 2009, and marked the seventh consecutive quarter that the index was above 70 percent.

Before 2009, the HOI rarely topped 65 percent, and had never reached 70 percent, but the record low mortgage rates and falling home prices have really kept mortgage payments in check.

Indianapolis-Carmel, Indiana was the most affordable major housing market in the country, with 93.3 percent of all home sales deemed affordable, while New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. continued to lead the nation as the least affordable major housing market at just 22.6 percent.

“With interest rates remaining at historically low levels, and house prices starting to stabilize, homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for almost 20 years,,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, in a press release.

“While these favorable conditions are beginning to draw home buyers back into the market, builders continue to have major problems in obtaining credit for new-home construction, and this obstacle must be overcome if builders are to respond to improving demand moving forward.”

I don’t think we need that many new homes built given the inventory glut at the moment (and that pesky shadow inventory), but go figure.

And just because you can afford it doesn’t mean you should buy it.

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