Nationwide housing affordability hit a new record high for a second consecutive quarter in the first three months of this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), released May 17. Yet tight lending conditions continue to pose a major obstacle to many prospective home buyers.
“Homes in this year’s first quarter were more affordable than they have been at any time in more than 20 years, yet many potential sales are not happening because of overly tight lending conditions that are keeping hardworking families from obtaining a suitable mortgage,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “Without this significant hurdle, the housing and economic recovery could be proceeding at a much stronger pace.”
Among the most affordable major housing markets in respective order were Dayton, Ohio; Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.; Modesto, Calif.; Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.; and Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.; the latter two of which tied for fifth place.
Other major metros at the bottom of the affordability chart included San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Honolulu; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif., respectively.
Ocean City, N.J., was the least affordable smaller housing market on the list, with 45.9 percent of homes sold in the first quarter affordable to families earning the median income of $71,100. Other small metros at the bottom of the list included Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.; Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif.; and Laredo, Texas.
Scott Hopper - Realtor, 530.477.2277