Your Way Home – JUNE

As we move into the summer months, data shows nationwide housing affordability hit a new record high for a second consecutive quarter in the first three months of this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), released in mid-May. Yet tight lending conditions continue to pose a major obstacle to many prospective homebuyers.

The latest HOI data reveal that 77.5 percent of all new and existing homes that were sold in this year’s first quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $65,000. This beats the previous record set in the final quarter of 2011, when 75.9 percent of homes sold were affordable to median-income earners.

“Homes in this year’s first quarter were more affordable than they have been at any time in more than 20 years, yet many potential sales are not happening because of overly tight lending conditions that are keeping hardworking families from obtaining a suitable mortgage,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a homebuilder from Gainesville, Fla. “Without this significant hurdle, the housing and economic recovery could be proceeding at a much stronger pace.”

The most affordable major housing market in this year’s first quarter was Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind., where 95.8 percent of homes sold during the period were affordable to households earning the area’s median family income of $66,900.

As for Las Vegas, the median price of homes in the first quarter of 2012 averaged $115,000 with an HOI of 88.7 percent for a national ranking of 53. These are striking and favorable numbers compared to the second quarter of 2008 when the median price of a home in Las Vegas was $223,000 with an HOI of 54.7 percent.

Also ranking among the most affordable major housing markets in respective order were Dayton, Ohio; Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.; Modesto, Calif.; Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.; and Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.; the latter two of which tied for fifth place.

Major metros at the bottom of the affordability chart included New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J.; San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Honolulu; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif., respectively. Visit www.nahb.org/hoi for tables, historic data and details.
Such compelling data proves there’s no better time to buy a new home in the Las Vegas Valley so get out there this summer and find your home sweet home.

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