Industry News

Housing affordability slips for fourth consecutive quarter

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Nationwide housing affordability slipped for a fourth consecutive quarter to its lowest level yet, according to the National Association of Home Builders'/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index released today. "The latest HOI shows that only 41 percent of new and existing homes that were sold during the final quarter of 2005 were affordable to families earning the national median income," said David Pressly, a home builder from Statesville, N.C. That index level is down from 43.2 percent of homes sold in the third quarter and 52 percent of homes sold in fourth-quarter 2004. The least affordable market rated by the index was Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., where 2.3 percent of homes sold in the fourth quarter were affordable to families earning the area's median household income of $54,500, according to the index. The median price of all homes sold in that area was an even $500,000. The bottom of the affordability scale was dominated, as usual, by California cities, including S...