NAHB/Wells Fargo: Housing affordability highest in 20 years

Nationwide housing affordability reached record levels in the last quarter of 2010, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. According to the report, 73.9 percent of homes sold in the fourth quarter of last year were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400. This is the highest affordability level in the index’s 20-year history.

February 21, 2011

Nationwide housing affordability reached record levels in the last quarter of 2010, according to the lastest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).

According to the index, 73.9 percent of homes sold in the fourth quarter of last year were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400. This is the highest affordability level in the index’s 20-year history.

Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind., remained the most affordable major housing market, with 93.5 percent of homes sold affordable to those with the local median income of $68,700. The Indianapolis area has held the top spot in affordability in all but one quarter for the last five years.

Other metropolitan areas topping the affordability list included Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich.; and Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich. The most affordable among smaller housing markets was Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y., topped the least affordable list for the 11th quarter in a row, with 25.5 percent of homes sold affordable to the families with the local median income of $65,600.

Other major housing markets included among the least affordable included San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Honolulu; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif. The least affordable among smaller housing markets was Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.

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