Tuesday
September 16, 2014

Housing Affordability Getting More Out of Reach?

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Housing Affordability Getting More Out of Reach?

Rising home prices and mortgage rates mixed with stagnant incomes may be putting home ownership more out of reach for the average home buyer, according to the latest affordability index from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. 

The NAHB index shows that for the second quarter that 69.3 percent of all homes sold between April and June were affordable to families earning a median income of $64,400. In the first quarter, that percentage stood at 73.7 percent, and affordability reached a peak in 2011 at 78 percent, according to the index. It’s the first time that the measure has fallen below 70 percent since late 2008. 

"Housing affordability has been hovering near historic highs for the past several years, largely due to exceptionally favorable mortgage rates and low prices during the recession," says NAHB Chairman Rick Judson. "Now that markets across the country are recovering, home values are strengthening at the same time that the cost of building homes is rising due to tightened supplies of building materials, developable lots and labor."   

The index shows that the median price for homes -- including new and existing homes -- that sold during the second quarter was $202,000. That’s up 9.2 percent or from $185,000 a year earlier. 

According to the index, the following metros are the nation’s most affordable housing markets: 

  • Ogden, Utah

Median home price: $153,000
Median family income: $70,800

  • Indianapolis

Median home price: $116,000
Median family income: $65,100

  • Harrisburg, Pa. 

Median home price: $152,000
Median family income: $70,800

  • Youngstown, Ohio

Median home price: $75,000
Median family income: $53,900

  • Buffalo, N.Y.

Median home price: $105,000
Median family income: $63,500

Source: National Association of Home Builders and “Affording a home harder for average buyer,” CNNMoney (Aug. 13, 2013)

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The latest Affordability Index from the National Association of REALTORS®