With home prices decreasing and interest rates holding at historically low levels, the number of potential home buyers nationwide who can afford to buy new and existing homes has reached the highest level in more than four years, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).
to the third-quarter HOI readings, 56.1 percent of all new and existing homes
that were sold were affordable to families earning the national median income
of $61,500, far more than the 40.4 percent of families who could afford homes
at the peak of the housing boom.
there is a silver lining to this crisis, it would be that some housing markets
have become more affordable with a larger inventory to choose from,” said NAHB
ChairmanSandy Dunn, a home builder from Point
Pleasant, W.Va. “But this is undeniably a crisis and Congress needs to act on
housing stimulus to get the market moving again.”
two most affordable major housing markets in the country during the third
quarter of the year were Indianapolis, Ind., and Youngstown, Ohio, according to
the HOI. In both Indianapolis and Youngstown, 91 percent of homes sold in the
third quarter were affordable to families earning the areas’ median household
incomes of $65,100 and $52,000, respectively.
near the top of the list for affordable major metropolitan areas were Grand
Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.; Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich.; and
Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., in that order.
smaller metro market (fewer than 500,000 people) outranked all others in terms
of housing affordability during the third quarter of 2008 - Springfield, Ohio,
where 92.9 percent of all homes sold in the period were affordable to families
earning that area’s median household income of $54,500.
York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. was the nation’s least affordable major
housing market for the second consecutive quarter. In the New York market, 10.6
percent of the new and existing homes sold during the third quarter were
affordable to those earning the area’s median family income of $63,000.
major metro areas at the bottom of the housing affordability chart included San
Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.; Los
Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Miami-Miami Beach- Kendall, Fla., in
smaller metro areas, the other markets at the bottom of the affordability chart
were San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; Napa,
Calif.; and Bend, Ore., respectively.
tables, historic data and details, visitwww.nahb.org.