The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
Released on Aug. 18, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) shows nationwide housing affordability during the second quarter of 2011 hovering for the 10th consecutive quarter near its highest level going back 20 some years.
The HOI indicated that 72.6% 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.
The affordability measure dipped slightly from the record high of 74.6% set last quarter but remained above the 70% threshold initially achieved in the first quarter of 2009.
"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 NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.
"However, some housing markets across the country have stabilized and are beginning to show signs of a budding recovery," he said.
In Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa. — the most affordable major housing market in the country during this year’s second quarter — 93.7% of all homes sold were affordable to households earning the area's median family income of $54,900.
Also ranking near the top of the most affordable major metro housing markets were Syracuse, N.Y.; Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.; Dayton, Ohio; and Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
Among smaller housing markets, the most affordable was Kokomo, Ind., where 95.8% of homes sold during the second quarter were affordable to families earning a median income of $59,100.
Other smaller housing markets ranking near the top of the index included Wheeling, W.Va.-Ohio; Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.; Bay City, Mich.; and Sandusky, Ohio.
In New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. — the nation’s least affordable major housing market for the 13th consecutive quarter — 25.2% of all homes sold during the second quarter were affordable to those earning the area's median income of $67,400.
Other major metro areas near the bottom of the affordability index included San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Honolulu.
Ocean City, N.J., where 40.9% of the homes were affordable to families earning the median income of $70,100, was the least affordable of the smaller metro housing markets in the country during the second quarter.
Other small metro areas ranking near the bottom included Laredo, Texas; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.; and Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif.