The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), increased to 77.5 in the first quarter of 2012, beating the previous record of 75.9 set in the final quarter of 2011.
The HOI is the percentage of homes sold during the quarter affordable to a median-income family, based on standard underwriting criteria. An HOI of 77.7 thus means that 77.7 percent of all new and existing homes sold during the first quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income ($65,000).
Although new home construction has been improving slowly recently, it remains at a historically low level despite the record affordability, suggesting that factors such as overly restrictive lending conditions remain a significant obstacle for many potential buyers.
Among the country’s major housing markets in the first quarter, Indianapolis-Carmel in Indiana ranked as the most affordable, with 95.8 percent of homes sold during the quarter affordable to households earning the area’s median family income of $66,900.
Most Affordable Metro Areas with Population 500K+:
- Indianapolis-Carmel, IN
- Dayton, OH
- Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
- Modesto, CA
- Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
- Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY
- Ogden-Clearfield, UT
- Syracuse, NY
- Akron, OH
- Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN
For more information on the HOI, including complete history and details for every metro area covered, see http://www.nahb.org/hoi.