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NAHB ranks affordable housing markets

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index has again listed the Indianapolis and Carmel, Ind., area as the most affordable major housing market in the United States.

On a nationwide basis, housing affordability remained well below the levels recorded prior to the price acceleration that accompanied the 2004-2005 housing boom, according to the NAHB.

“The latest HOI indicates that 43.1 percent of new and existing homes that were sold in the United States during this year’s second quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income,” said NAHB President Brian Catalde. “This reflects a marginal decline from the 43.9 percent of homes sold that were affordable to such buyers in the first quarter.”

“The data shows that housing affordability generally remains a serious issue even though national average house prices are down from their 2005 highs,” said NAHB chief economist David Seiders. “Moreover, the abrupt tightening of lending standards in the subprime sector -- a trend that is now bleeding into other sectors of the mortgage market -- is having serious impacts on the ability of many families to purchase homes.”

In the nation’s most affordable major housing market of Indianapolis, approximately 87 percent of new and existing homes that were sold during the second quarter of this year were affordable to families earning the area’s median household income of $63,800. Also near the top of the list for affordable major housing markets were Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.; and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.

Maintaining its spot at the bottom of the affordability scale for an eleventh consecutive quarter was Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., where just 3 percent of homes sold in the second three months of this year were affordable to families earning the median household income there of $61,700. As usual, Los Angeles shared the bottom of the affordability scale with other major California cities, including Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine as the second least affordable, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City as the third least affordable and Modesto as the fifth least affordable large housing markets in the nation. The fourth least affordable major metropolitan area was New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J.

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