The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) fell slightly in the 2nd quarter of 2012, down to 73.8, from the all-time record high of 77.5 recorded in the first quarter of the year. Firming home prices in most metro areas contributed to the small decline in affordability.
The HOI is the share of new and existing homes sold in a quarter affordable to a family earning the median income. An HOI of 73.8 means that 73.8 percent of all homes sold during the second quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income ($65,000).
The most affordable major housing market (population > 500,000) in this year’s second quarter was Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa., where 93.4 percent of homes sold during the period were affordable to households earning the area’s median family income of $55,700.
Among smaller housing markets, Fairbanks, Alaska topped the affordability chart with 98.7 percent of homes sold during the second quarter being affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $92,900.
Meanwhile, New York- White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. retained the title of the least affordable major housing market in the country for a 17th consecutive quarter, with just 29.4 percent of homes sold there being affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $68,300 as of the second quarter.
Ocean City, N.J., remained the least affordable smaller housing market in the second quarter, with just 43.8 percent of homes sold in the second quarter affordable to families earning the median income of $71,100.
For more information on the HOI, including history and details for every metro area covered, please see www.nahb.org/hoi.