WASHINGTON - Syracuse, NY, ranked first and San Francisco worst in housing affordability during the first quarter of the year.
According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, marginally lower median home prices and stable mortgage rates created higher housing affordability overall in the first quarter.
Nearly 66 percent of new and existing homes sold between the start of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $63,900. The figure represents a somewhat higher number than the almost 65 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the fourth quarter.
The national median home price dropped from $205,000 in the fourth quarter to $195,000 in the first quarter. Average mortgage interest rates were essentially unchanged in the same period.
Syracuse, NY, was the country’s most affordable major housing market, with nearly 94 percent of all new and existing homes sold in this year's first quarter affordable to families earning the area's median income of $67,700. Other major U.S. housing markets at the top of the affordability chart in the first quarter included Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA.; Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA; and Dayton, OH; in descending order.
For a sixth consecutive quarter, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA, held the bottom spot among major markets on the affordability chart. Only about 13 percent of homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning the area's median income of $100,400.
Other major areas at the bottom of the affordability chart included Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine,CA; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA; New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ; and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA; in descending order.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.