Indiana is home to the most affordable small and large metro housing markets in the country, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

Kokomo, Ind., with an estimated 90.9 percent share of homes affordable for median-income families, ranked as the most affordable small city area with a population under 500,000 in the second quarter.

The Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind., area, with an 86.8 percent share of homes affordable for median-income families, ranked as the most affordable large metro area with a population above 500,000 in the second-quarter index report. The Indianapolis metro has maintained this top ranking for eight consecutive quarters.

Nationwide, the index found that 43.1 percent of new and resale homes sold in the second quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income or higher, down from 43.9 percent in the first quarter but up from 40.6 percent in second-quarter 2006.

Of the 215 markets ranked in the index, 102 markets had an index above 50 percent — which means that more than half of the homes in that market were affordable to families earning a median income.

Twenty-six of the 30 least affordable markets for housing in the second quarter are in California, including all five of the top five least affordable markets.

The five least affordable small cities in the second quarter are all in California. Salinas was the least affordable, with a 3.7 percent share of homes affordable to families earning the median income of $63,400 in that market, followed by Merced with a 3.8 percent share, Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta with a 6.2 percent share, and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles and Napa with a 6.4 percent share.

David Seiders, chief economist for the home builders’ trade group, said in a statement that housing affordability remains “a serious issue” and “the abrupt tightening of lending standards in the subprime sector — a trend that is now bleeding into other sectors of the mortgage market — is having serious impacts on the ability of many families to purchase homes.”

After Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich., other major metro markets that were among the most affordable in the second quarter include: Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.; and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.

After Kokomo, the most affordable smaller housing markets included Bay City, Mich.; Lansing-East Lansing, Mich.; Mansfield, Ohio; and Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, Mich.

Maintaining its spot at the bottom of the affordability scale for an 11th consecutive quarter was Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif., with 3 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income families.

Next on the list of least affordable major metros was Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif., followed by San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J.; and Modesto, Calif.

According to the report, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development this year began using data from the American Community Survey collected in 2005 as the basis for estimating median family incomes in 2007, and comparisons between HUD’s median family income data for 2007 and prior years are not valid.

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