Housing Affordability Continues Near Record High

Housing Affordability Continues Near Record High

by Paul Emrath — Eye on Housing

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) for the third quarter of 2011 shows that, nationwide, housing affordability continues to hover near its highest level in the more than 20 years it has been measured

The HOI indicated that a near-record 72.9 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the third quarter of the year were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,200. The affordability measure rose slightly from the 72.6 percent set last quarter and has remained above the 70 percent threshold for 11 consecutive quarters. The HOI rarely rose above 60 percent prior to this period.

Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., was the most affordable major housing market in the country during the third quarter of the year. In Lakeland, 92.5 percent of all homes sold were affordable to households earning the area’s median family income of $53,800.

Other major metro housing markets ranking near the top of the index were Toledo, Ohio; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.; and Ogden-Clearfield, Utah, respectively.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., led the nation as the least affordable major housing market during the third quarter of 2011. In New York, 23.3 percent of all homes sold during the quarter were affordable to those earning the area’s median income of $67,400. The New York metropolitan division has held the least affordable market position for the last 14 quarters.

Other major metro areas near the bottom of the affordability index included San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Honolulu; Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.; and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., respectively.

For more information on the HOI, including complete history and details for every metro area covered, see www.nahb.org/hoi

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