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Can you buy, Can you finance?

Can you afford to buy a new home now, and if so, can you get financing?  Take a look at the following article from the National Association of Home Builders, posted on February 21, 2011

 Housing Affordability at Record Levels, Though Tight Financing Constrains Sales

Nationwide housing affordability measured by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOl) during the fourth quarter of 2010 rose to its highest level ever in the 20-year history of the index.

The HOI indicated that 73.9% of all new and existing homes sold in the fourth quarter of 2010 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400. This surpassed the previous high of 72.5% set during the first quarter of 2009 and marked the eighth consecutive quarter that the index has been above 70%. Until 2009, the HOl rarely topped 65% and never reached 70%.

"The report shows that housing affordability at the end of 2010 was at its highest level since we started computing the HOI," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen. "However, while this is good news for consumers, both home buyers and builders continue to confront extremely tight credit conditions, and this remains a significant obstacle to many potential home sales."

Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind., was the most affordable major housing market in the country for the second consecutive quarter, after relinquishing for a quarter the top spot it had held for five years. In Indianapolis, 93.5% of all homes sold were affordable to households earning the area's median family income of $68,700.

Also ranking at the top of the most affordable major metro housing markets were: Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Syracuse, N.Y; Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich.; and Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.

Among smaller housing markets, the most affordable was Elkhart-Goshen, Ind., where 97.0% of homes sold during the fourth quarter of 2010 were affordable to families earning a median income of $58,600. Other smaller housing markets at the top of the index included: Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.; Kokomo, Ind.; Mansfield, Ohio; and Bay City, Mich.

During last year's fourth quarter, New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., again led the nation as the least affordable major housing market. In New York, not much more than a fourth — 25.5% — of all homes sold during the quarter were affordable to those earning the area's median income of $65,600. This was the 11th consecutive quarter that the New York metro area has held this dubious distinction.

The other major metro areas at the bottom of the affordability index included: San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Honolulu; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.

Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif. was the least affordable of the smaller metro housing markets in the country during the fourth quarter. In Santa Cruz, 45.0% of the homes were affordable to families earning the median income of $84,200. Other small metro areas ranking at the bottom included: Ocean City, N.J.; San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.; Laredo, Texas; and Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, Calif.

For in-depth analysis of the latest housing statistics and research from the federal government, NAHB and other sources, Eye on the Economy readers are encouraged to visit Eye on Housing at http://eyeonhousing.wordpress.com/follow-us/.

 

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