Housing Affordability Running Near Record High
Bolstered by affordable interest rates and low house prices, housing affordability in the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), which was released on Nov. 19, continued running at close to record levels for the third straight quarter. The index started being compiled 18 years ago.
The HOI showed that 70.1% of all new and existing homes sold in the third quarter of 2009 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,000, down slightly from 72.3% during the previous quarter but up significantly from 56.1% in the third quarter of 2008.
"At a time when housing is at its most affordable, we applaud the recent actions taken by Congress and President Obama to stimulate housing by extending the federal tax credit beyond its Nov. 30 deadline and expanding it to a wider group of eligible home buyers," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson.
"With interest rates now lower than last quarter,” he said, “the tax credit will encourage even more home buyers to enter the market and help stabilize housing and the economy by creating new jobs, stimulating home sales, reducing foreclosures, cutting excess inventories and stabilizing home prices."
Indianapolis was the most affordable major housing market in the country during the third quarter, a position it has held for 17 consecutive quarters. Almost 95% of all homes sold there were affordable to households earning the metro area's median family income of $68,100.
Also near the top of the list of the most affordable major metro housing markets were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa., and three Michigan metropolitan areas, Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn; Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills; and Grand Rapids-Wyoming.
Five smaller housing markets posted even higher affordability scores than Indianapolis, with Kokomo, Ind., outscoring them all. There, 96.7% of homes sold during the third quarter of 2009 were affordable to median-income earners. Other smaller housing markets near the top of the index included Springfield, Ohio; Bay City, Mich.; Mansfield, Ohio; and Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.
New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., was the nation's least affordable major housing market during the third quarter of 2009, the area's sixth consecutive appearance at the bottom of the list. Only about 19% of all homes sold in that market during the third quarter were affordable to those earning the area's median income of $64,800.
The other major metro areas near the bottom of the affordability scale included San Francisco; Honolulu; Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.; and Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif. was the least affordable of the smaller metro housing markets in the country during the third quarter. Others at the bottom of the chart included Ocean City, N.J.; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif.; and Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas.
Web Site One-Stop Shop for Tax Credit Info
Builders and other industry professionals can help spur home sales by referring prospective home buyers to www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com. The NAHB Web site provides detailed information on both the extended $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and the new $6,500 repeat buyer tax credit recently signed into law by President Obama.
Consumers can use the Web site to find information on both tax credits — including frequently asked questions and links to social media sites that provide updated information as it becomes available. It also includes a number of home-buying resources for consumers.
Industry professionals are encouraged to highlight the tax credit Web site when marketing to their potential home buyer market.
Webcast of Fall Construction Forecast Conference Now Available
An on-demand webcast of the 2009 Fall Construction Forecast Conference held at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21 is now available for purchase.
The webcast fee includes access to the webcast archive and electronic copies of the conference handout and presentation materials. Multiple viewers in one office can purchase the webcast for one fee.
The on-demand webcast also gives viewers complete flexibility in their viewing experience — pause, skip forward and backward, or jump directly to your topics of interest. The webcast is available for $250.
To view the webcast schedule, topics of discussion and a list of the presenters, click here.
To purchase and download the webcast, click here.
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