While home prices are creeping higher across the country, low mortgage rates are helping to keep affordability conditions favorable in housing, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.
About 74 percent of all homes sold during the third quarter were affordable to median income families in the U.S. making $65,000, according to the HOI. In the second quarter, the percentage stood at 73.8 percent.
“The latest housing affordability data is good news on two fronts, because it shows that the share of homes affordable to median-income earners has risen even as home prices have continued to gradually recover from their recession lows,” says NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg. “This is primarily due to the fact that mortgage rates are now lower than we’ve seen them since the HOI was initiated more than a decade ago.”
The 5 Most Affordable Housing Markets
According to the HOI for the third quarter, the following housing markets are the most affordable:
- Ogden-Clearfield, Utah (93.2 percent of all new and existing homes there are affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $71,500)
- Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.
- Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.
- Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.
- Toledo, Ohio
As for the least affordable housing markets?
New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. continues to retain its title as priciest housing market in the country for the 18th consecutive quarter. About 28 percent of the homes sold there are affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $68,300.