Housing Affordability Posts Solid Gain in First Quarter

Lower interest rates and home prices contributed to a solid boost in nationwide affordability in the first quarter of 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).  In all, 66.5 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 $65,800.   The HOI in the fourth quarter of 2014 was 62.8 percent.

HOI PPT Q115

The national median home price declined from $215,000 in the fourth quarter to $210,000 in the first quarter. Meanwhile, average mortgage interest fell from 4.29 percent to 4.03 percent in the same period.

For the second straight quarter, Syracuse, N.Y. remained the nation’s most affordable major housing market, as 95.6 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the first quarter of 2015 were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $68,500.

Meanwhile, Sandusky, Ohio topped the affordability chart among smaller markets. There, 96.3 percent of homes sold during the first quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $69,600.

For a 10th consecutive quarter, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif. was the nation’s least affordable major housing market. There, just 14.1 percent of homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $103,400.

All five least affordable small housing markets were in California. At the very bottom was Santa Cruz-Watsonville, where 21.6 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $87,000.

Visit nahb.org/hoi  for tables, historic data and details.



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