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Nat Criss' Blog

By Nat Criss | Other/Just Looking in Wilmington, NC

Housing Affordability at a 20-Year High

Pile of coins.If a home purchase is in your future, a recent study from the NAHB/Wells Fargo gauging the Housing Opportunity Index may spur you into action. A press release on May 17th stated that, "Nationwide housing affordability hit a new record high for a second consecutive quarter in the first three months of this year." The release also acknowledged that the current more stringent lending practices are making things difficult for many prospective buyers.

The HOI takes into account the national median income figure, which is $65,000. Based on that, the HOI data showed that 77.5% of all new and existing homes sold in the first quarter of 2012 were affordable. The previous record was in 2011, when the index revealed that 75.9% of homes were within the price range of Americans considered to be median-income earners.

  • Among the major metro areas, a few of the most affordable choices are: Modesto, CA, Lakeland, FL, Grand Rapids, MI, Buffalo, NY, Dayton, OH, and Grand Rapids, WY.
  • Of the smaller metro markets, Fairbanks, AK, Davenport, IA, Kokomo, IN, Cumberland, MD, and several WVA cities were good spots to find reasonably priced homes.
  • As for those cities considered the least affordable, the metro area of White Plains, NY and Wayne, NJ, topped the list. Other high priced hot spots were San Francisco, CA, Honolulu, HI, Ocean City, MD, and Laredo, TX, along with a significant number of CA locations.
NAHB's chairman, Barry Rutenberg, noted the extreme affordability levels of homes in 2012's first quarter, reflecting that those prices were the best they've been at any time within the last 20 years. He stressed the point that hardworking families are being shut out by overly tough lending requirements. He referred to the difficulties many face in obtaining a mortgage as a hurdle and said, "Without this significant hurdle, the housing and economic recovery could be proceeding at a much stronger pace."

Source: http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?sectionID=135&newsID=15306

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