Housing Affordability at All-Time High
Aug 20, 2009
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Housingaffordability in the U.S. during 2Q 2009 continued to hover near its highest level since the series began 18 years ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).

The HOI showed that 72.3% of all new and existing homes sold in 2Q 2009 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,000, down only slightly from the record-high 72.5 percent during the previous quarter and up from 55% during 2Q 2008.

Indianapolis, once again, was the most affordable major housing market in the country during the second quarter. Almost 95% of all homes sold were affordable to households earning the area’s median family income of $68,100. Indianapolis has now topped the affordability list 16 consecutive quarters.

Also near the top of the list of the most affordable major metro housing markets were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.; Dayton, Ohio; and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.

Several smaller housing markets posted even higher affordability scores than Indianapolis, with Kokomo, Ind. outscoring all others. There, almost 98% of homes sold during 2Q 2009 were affordable to median-income earners. Other small housing markets ahead of Indianapolis on the affordability scale included Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.; Mansfield, Ohio; Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.; Lima, Ohio; and Bay City, Mich.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., where just more than 21% of all homes sold during the period were affordable to those earning the median income of $64,800, was once again the nation’s least affordable major housing market in the second quarter. This was the New York metro area’s fifth consecutive appearance at the bottom of the list. Other major metro areas near the bottom of the affordability chart included San Francisco; Honolulu; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.

Among smaller metro areas, San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif. was the least affordable market, followed by Ocean City, N.J.; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; Flagstaff, Ariz.; and Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif., respectively.

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