Home/Mortgages/Housing Affordability Remains at 20 Year Highs

August 19, 2011 (Jeff Alan)

Housing affordability in the second quarter of 2011 remained near 20 year highs according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). Nearly three-fourths of all homes in the U.S. were affordable to families earning the national median income.

The newest data indicates that 72.6 percent of all homes in the second quarter of the year were affordable to families earning the national median income of 64,200. That was a decline from a record high of 74.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, but it was the 10th consecutive quarter that the HOI was above the 70 percent threshold.

“At a time when homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for more than two decades and interest rates are at historically low levels, the sluggish economy and the extremely tight credit conditions confronting home buyers and builders remain significant obstacles to many potential home sales,” said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. “That said, however, some housing markets across the country have stabilized and are beginning to show signs of a budding recovery.”

The most affordable major market area was the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-PA area where 93.7 percent of the homes were affordable to households earning the area’s median family income.

The other top areas in affordability were Syracuse, NY, Indianapolis-Carmel, IN, Dayton, OH, and Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL.

The major market areas that had the least affordable housing during the second quarter were New York-White Plains-Wayne, NJ-NY, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA, Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA, and Honolulu.

In the smaller housing markets, the most affordable area during the quarter were Kokomo, IN, Wheeling, WV-OH, Lansing-East Lansing, MI, Bay City, MI, and Sandusky, OH.

The least affordable smaller markets were Ocean City, NJ, Laredo, TX, Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, CA and Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Ca.

Tags: NAHB, Wells Fargo, housing affordability, national median income, HOI