Industry News

Real estate affordability flat in first quarter

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Housing affordability across the United States remained virtually unchanged in the first quarter compared to fourth-quarter 2005, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders'/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, as slightly lower home prices and higher household income helped offset rising mortgage rates. The HOI rose marginally from its lowest level on record, 41 at year-end 2005, to 41.3 in the first quarter of 2006. "The latest HOI shows that only 41.3 percent of new and existing homes that were sold during this year's first quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income," said NAHB President David Pressly, a home builder from Statesville, N.C. "This is down from just over 50 percent of all homes sold in the first quarter of 2005 that were affordable to the average family." "Compared to the fourth quarter of last year, the median price of all new and existing homes that were sold during the first quarter of 2006 declined 1.5 pe...