Real Estate

We’re No. 1 – in housing unaffordability

Consider it the price you pay for not having to live in Ogden-Clearfield, Utah. By the end of last year, San Francisco became the metro area with the lowest percentage of its households earning the median income able to purchase a home, according to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB).

Technically, NAHB rates the city in the category of “San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California,” which is a rather large stretch of land. But in that swath of territory, the median family income is estimated to be $103,000, resulting in only 28.4 percent of homes sold in the area being affordable to those families.

The second most unaffordable area is the New York-White Plains-Wayne region of New York and New Jersey. Honolulu ranked near the bottom of the chart, too, as did the Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine area and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale region.

NAHB was actually encouraged by the fourth quarter 2012 results, because they showed that 74.9% of homes sold in this country in the last three months of the year were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,000, up nearly a percentage point from the 74.1 percent of homes that were similarly affordable in the previous quarter. “It is noteworthy that affordability remains historically high thanks to favorable mortgage rates, even as national home price indexes show some rise in values,” said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist.

Ogden-Clearfield, Utah, ranked first in NAHB’s affordability ranking. If you’re curious, the median family income in the Ogden-Clearfield greater metropolitan area is $71,500, and 93.7 percent of all new and existing homes sold there were affordable to such families.

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