Industry News

Median-priced real estate more affordable

Home prices drop, income rises

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Homes were generally more affordable for the typical family in the first quarter of the year than they were in the fourth quarter of 2003, according to Housing Affordability Index data released today by the National Association of Realtors. But home affordability dropped off slightly in the first quarter of the year when compared with the first quarter of 2003. The Housing Affordability Index, designed to measure whether a typical family could qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home, dropped 0.8 percentage point from first quarter 2003 to first quarter 2004, though was up 5.4 percent, from 138.7 points in fourth quarter 2003 to 144.1 points in first quarter 2004. This means that the nation's typical household had 144.1 percent of the income required to buy a home at the first quarter median existing-home price of $170,800. An index rating above 100 shows that families earning the median income can generally qualify for a loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down-...