The Most, Least Affordable Markets Right Now

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016

Home price appreciation offset low mortgage rates, bringing housing affordability slightly lower in the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunities Index.

View the latest from NAR's Housing Affordability index.

"Historically low interest rates and firming job growth are positive indicators that housing markets across the nation will continue to gradually improve," says NAHB Chairman Ed Brady. "Home prices, however, continue to be affected by the rising costs of construction, both in terms of land and labor."

In the third quarter, 61.4 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,700, the index showed. This is down from the 62 percent of homes sold in the second quarter.

The nation’s least affordable major housing market in the third quarter – for the 16th consecutive quarter – was San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco. Just 9.7 percent of homes sold in the third quarter there were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $104,700. Other major metros that were least affordable in the quarter were all in California as well -- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara; and Santa Rosa.

The least affordable smaller housing market was Salinas, Calif. (where 17.6 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the area's median income of $63,500), followed by Santa Cruz-Watsonville; Napa; San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande; and Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii.

Meanwhile, the nation’s most affordable housing market in the third quarter was in Elgin, Ill. There, 94.3 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the area's median income of $82,500. Other major markets ranking as some of the most affordable were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton, Pa.; Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Ind.; and Syracuse, N.Y.

The nation’s most affordable smaller market is Fairbanks, Alaska, in which 97.7 percent of homes sold in the third quarter being affordable to families earning the median income of $93,800. Other smaller markets ranked among the most affordable included Monroe, Mich.; Binghamton, N.Y.; Wheeling, W.Va.-Ohio; and Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa-Ill.

Source: National Association of Home Builders