Housing affordability decreased in the third quarter due to strengthening home prices and higher interest rates in metros across the country, the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index revealed.

In all, 64.5 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 $64,400. This is down from the 69.3 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the second quarter, and the biggest HOI decline since the second quarter of 2004. 

“Housing affordability is being negatively affected by a ‘perfect storm’ scenario,” observed NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “With markets across the country recovering, home values are strengthening at the same time that the cost of building homes is rising due to tightened supplies of building materials, developable lots and labor.”