Housing Affordability Remains Above 70 Percent in Third Quarter

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) indicated that 72.1 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the third quarter of 2010 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400.  The HOI for the third quarter nearly equaled the record-high 72.5 percent set during the first quarter of 2009 and marked the seventh consecutive quarter that the index rose above 70 percent. Until 2009, the HOI rarely topped 65 percent and never reached 70 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.

Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind., was the most affordable major housing market in the country at 93.3 percent.  Also near the top of the list of the most affordable major metro housing markets were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.; and Dayton, Ohio, and Wichita, Kan.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., continued to lead the nation as the least affordable major housing market during the third quarter of 2010.  Other major metro areas near the bottom of the affordability scale included San Francisco; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif., respectively.