Pennsylvania's housing market remains relatively stable compared to other parts of the country but homes are becoming less affordable in the state, signaling a shift away from a "sellers' market," according to a second-quarter economic review released today by the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors. Statewide sales rose at an annual rate of 8 percent in the quarter and the average price of an existing home rose 12 percent, PAR reported. "The most important development in the state's single-family-home market last quarter was a significant drop in home affordability," said Dr. Jacob De Rooy of Penn State Harrisburg, PAR consulting economist and author of the study. He said reasons for the drop were rising mortgage interest rates, slow growth in home buyer income, more cautious lenders and increased home prices. The composite index of Pennsylvania housing affordability for second-quarter 2006 was 119.4, compared with 136.4 in the first quarter. The index measures affordability factor...
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