Housing was more affordable in the fourth quarter of 2010 than it has been in 20 years, says the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), released this week.
Nearly 74% of all new and existing homes sold in the the fourth quarter of 2010 were affordable to median income families–those currently earning $64,400. The index, which, until 2009 had never reached 70%, rose to 73.9% in the fourth quarter, surpassing a previous high of 72.5% in the first quarter of 2009.
“Today’s report shows that housing affordability at the end of 2010 was at its highest level since we started computing the HOI,” said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev. “However, while this is good news for consumers, both home buyers and builders continue to confront extremely tight credit conditions, and this remains a significant obstacle to many potential home sales.”
Of the most affordable markets, the Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind. area took the top position, followed by Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; and Syracuse, N.Y.
The least affordable markets in the U.S. included New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; and Honolulu.
See the full HOI.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker