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Home affordability declines in Q3

Home affordability declined in the third quarter, but more than half of all homes sold remained affordable to families earning the U.S. median income, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported this week.

Some 58.3 percent of new and existing homes sold in the July-through-September period were affordable to families with an income of $68,000, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Opportunity Index indicated. That was down from 59.4 percent in the second quarter.

Among cities, Los Angeles supplanted San Francisco as the least the affordable city. Several major cities in California also made the list-affordable list. Meanwhile, among larger cities, Syracuse, New York, was deemed the nation’s most affordable housing market.

NAHB is predicting that affordability will continue to erode through next year.

“Solid economic growth, along with ongoing quarterly job gains and rising household formations, are fueling housing demand,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a news release.

“Tight inventories and a forecast of rising mortgage interest rates through 2018 will keep home prices on a gradual upward path and slowly lessen housing affordability in the quarters ahead,” he said. 

The national median home price rose to $260,000 in the third quarter from $256,000 in the second quarter. Average mortgage rates increased two basis points in the third quarter to 4.1 percent from 4.08 percent in the second quarter, NAHB said. 


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