WASHINGTON – Housing affordability is near its highest level in more than 20 years, according to the National Assn. of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).
The HOI index has remained above the 70 percent threshold for 11 consecutive quarters. In the second quarter of the year, the affordability measure ticked up slightly to 72.6 percent. Now, in the third quarter, newly released data indicates that a near-record 72.9 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,200.
"With interest rates at historically low levels and markets across the country beginning to improve, homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for nearly two decades," said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, NV. "However, tough economic conditions -- particularly in markets that experienced major changes in house prices and production -- as well as extremely tight credit conditions confronting home buyers and builders continue to remain significant obstacles to many potential home sales."
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