August 20th, 2011 12:35 PM by Lori Speight
Housing affordability continued to be near record highs in the second quarter, hovering near its highest level in the 20-plus years it has been recorded, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.
About 72 percent of all new and existing-homes sold in the second quarter of the year were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,200, according to the index. The record high remains 74.6 percent, which was reached last quarter.
"At a time when home ownership 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," says Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. "That said, however, some housing markets across the country have stabilized and are beginning to show signs of a budding recovery."
Most Affordable Housing Markets
According to the index, Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa., was the most affordable major housing market during the second quarter with 93.7 percent of all homes sold found to be affordable to households earning the area's median family income of $54,900. Other cities ranking near the top for affordability is: Syracuse, N.Y.; Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.; Dayton, Ohio; and Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
Least Affordable Markets
The index found the least affordable market in the country--for the 13th consecutive quarter--is New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., in which 25.2 percent of all homes sold during the quarter were affordable to those earning the area's median income of $67,400. The other least affordable major metro areas includes San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Honolulu.
By REALTOR® Magazine Daily News