Firming home prices in markets across the country contributed to a slight dip in nationwide housing affordability in the third quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). In all, 61.8 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and the end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $63,900. The HOI in the second quarter was 62.6 percent.
The national median home price increased from $214,000 in the second quarter to $221,000 in the third quarter, while average mortgage interest rates decreased from 4.44 percent to 4.35 percent in the same period.
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa. claimed the title of the nation’s most affordable major housing market, as 89.1 percent of all new and existing homes sold in this year’s third quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $52,700.
Cumberland, Md.-W.Va. and Kokomo, Ind. each tied as the most affordable smaller market, with 94.8 percent of homes sold in the third quarter being affordable to those earning the median income of $54,100 in Cumberland and $56,900 in Kokomo.
For an eighth consecutive quarter, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif. was the nation’s least affordable major housing market. There, just 11.4 percent of homes sold in the third quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $100,400. All five least affordable small housing markets were in California. At the very bottom was Napa, where 10.2 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $70,300.
Visit nahb.org/hoi for tables, historic data and details.