Homes Less Affordable in Second Quarter

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Rising home prices in U.S. metropolitan areas pushed down the second-quarter affordability index, according to the latest data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo housing opportunity index. Some 73.8% of new and existing homes sold in the second quarter were affordable for families earning the median U.S. income of $65,000. In the first quarter the affordability index hit a record high of 77.5% of homes affordable to median income families.

The NAHB's chairman said:

While interest rates and overall housing affordability remain very favorable on a historic basis, the decline in the latest HOI is a positive development because it is another signal that the housing recovery is starting to take root, and it lends needed confidence to prospective buyers and sellers who have been reluctant to move forward in the current marketplace

Exactly how rising home prices are a "positive development" for buyers may be arguable, but from a home builders' viewpoint rising prices are a definite recovery signal.

The NAHB press release and supporting data are available here.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Housing, Research
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