Housing Affordability Shows Improvement in Q3

by devteam November 16th, 2012 | Share

Nearly three-quarters of the homes soldrnin the U.S. in the third quarter of 2012 were affordable to a family that wasrnearning the U.S. median income of $65,000. rnAccording to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/WellsrnFargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), 74.1 percent of homes sold nationwidernmet those criteria, up from 73.8 percent in the second quarter.  Lower interest rates helped to make homesrnmore affordable to median-income families NAHB said, even as home prices inchedrnup in many metropolitan areas across the country.</p

The median price of new and existing homes sold in the third quarter wasrn$189,000, up from $176,000 one year earlier. rnNAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said that was the strongest number NAHBrnhad seen since the last quarter of 2008. rn”But at the same time,” he said, “mortgage rates were at their lowestrnlevels in decades, which kept homes quite affordable. Clearly, for families whornqualify for a mortgage at such favorable terms, the outlook is brightening –rnbut being able to afford a home and getting approved for a mortgage are stillrntwo different things in the current marketplace.”</p

The most affordable area in the country was Ogden-Clearfield, Utah where,rn93.2 percent of all new and existing homes sold between July and September ofrnthis year were affordable to families earning the area’s median householdrnincome of $71,500.  Also ranking amongrnthe most affordable major housing markets were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman,rnOhio-Pennsylvania and Indianapolis-Carmel, Indiana. </p

Among smaller housing markets, Fairbanks, Alaska, retained its standing atrnthe top of the affordability chart with an incredible 99.4 percent of all homesrnsold there in the third quarter being affordable to families earning the area’srnmedian income of $92,900. Other smaller housing markets at the top of the indexrnincluded Mansfield and Lima, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia.-Ohio. </p

Meanwhile, New York-White Plains-Wayne, New York-New Jersey retained therntitle of the least affordable major housing market in the country for an 18thrnconsecutive quarter, with just 28.5 percent of homes sold there beingrnaffordable to families earning the area’s median income of $68,300.  Other least affordable areas included San Franciscornand surrounding areas and several cities in Orange County, California</p

The least affordable small housing market in the third quarter was SantarnCruz-Watsonville, California. with just 44.4 percent of homes sold being withinrnreach of families earning the median income of $87,000. Other small metros atrnthe bottom of the list included Ocean City, New Jersey and San Luis Obispo-PasornRobles, California.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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