Nearly 75% of homes are affordable

Nearly 75% of homes are affordable

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NEW YORK ( -- It's prime time for house hunters. Nearly anyone with a decent job and a good credit score can afford to buy in their home towns.

More than 72% of American families making the nation's median income of $63,800 a year, could afford to buy a home during the first three months of 2010, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo (WF).

The national median home price for the quarter was $175,000.

"Homeownership continues its more than year-long trend of remaining within reach of more households than it has for almost two decades," said NAHB chairman Bob Jones. "With interest rates still hovering at low levels, companies starting to hire new employees and the economy beginning to rebound, this should encourage more home buyers to enter the market and help further stabilize housing and the economy."

The NAHB judges a home to be affordable if a family making the metro area's median income could devote no more than 28% of their take-home pay toward housing costs.

Many of the old industrial outposts of the Northeast and Midwest are among the most affordable places to live. Indianapolis, where the median home price sold during the first quarter was only $96,000, had led the list of most affordable large cities for five consecutive years. This time it shared the lead with the gritty industrial enclave of Youngstown, Ohio. Nearly 95% of all homes sold in both metro areas were affordable to households earning the local median income.

Dayton, Ohio, Syracuse, N.Y., and Grand Rapids, Mich., finish off the list of the five most affordable major metro areas.

The opposite end of the affordability spectrum is dominated by more glamorous bi-coastal venues, with New York being the least affordable metro area in the nation; fewer than 21% of homes are affordable for median earning households there. San Francisco, Honolulu, Santa Ana and Los Angeles followed Gotham.


Youngstown, OH

I bought on emotion a few years ago when I bought a house in Youngstown, OH back in 2008. I bought the house because my grandparents live there and I wanted to make them proud. A lesson learned for sure. I bought it on line too without even seeing it personally. OUCH! I paid, $8,000 and some change for it and ended up selling it almost one year later for $2,300 just to get it off my hands. Talk about a MOTIVATED SELLER!!! The area is not good at all. I wish my grandparents would move but they like it for some reason? I no longer buy on emotional nor will I buy on the internet. Good information though.


Gary Rabatin
Certified Cash Flow Consultant
Founder & President of Gold Bar Funding Group L.L.C.
Private Real Estate Investor
"Building Wealth by the Numbers"

5 metro areas where the average American family can afford

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Most (and least) affordable cities to buy a house
Here are the 5 metro areas where the average American family can easily afford to purchase a median-priced home - and the 5 where they can't.

Most affordable (tie): Indianapolis
Median home price: $96,000
Median income: $68,700
Affordability score: 94.9%

America's most affordable housing market is the 33rd largest metro area in the United States, with 1.7 million people.

The median family income is fairly high -- $68,700 -- and median home prices are a very reasonable $96,000, according to the National Association of Homebuilders and Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

Helping keep home prices depressed is a fairly virulent foreclosure plague: There were more than 18,400 properties with foreclosure filings during 2009.

The turmoil in the auto industry, which Indianapolis had been closely associated with, has hurt the city. But increased diversification, which has made pharmaceutical companies, banks government agencies and insurers all important employers, has helped keep job losses in check. The unemployment rate was 9.5% in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly matching the national rate of 9.7% that month.

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