Housing Affordability High in Early 2013

May 24, 2013

national home affordabilityHousing affordability in the U.S. was at historic highs in the first quarter of 2013, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), released earlier this month.

In all, 73.7 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $64,400. This is down slightly from the 74.9 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the final quarter of 2012.

“Thanks to very favorable mortgage rates and prices, housing affordability has remained quite high over the past four years,” observed NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “The HOI has not slipped below 70 since the end of 2008. That said, from a builder’s perspective, it should be noted that rising costs for building materials, lots and labor are making it somewhat more expensive to construct new homes in today’s market.”

Please visit for tables, historic data and details.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) is a measure of the percentage of homes sold in a given area that are affordable to families earning the area’s median income during a specific quarter. Prices of new and existing homes sold are collected from actual court records by Core Logic, a data and analytics company. Mortgage financing conditions incorporate interest rates on fixed- and adjustable-rate loans reported by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo HOI is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public.

Next week we’ll look at housing affordability in Chicago – stay tuned!

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