Housing Opportunity Index Nears Record High in Q210
The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), compiled in conjunction with Wells Fargo, reported near-record highs for the sixth consecutive quarter. The news follows July home sales data that shows home buying activity at its lowest level in more than ten years. The index came in at 72.3%, signifying that percentage of all new and existing home sales in Q210 was affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400. The index all-time high is set at 72.5% from home opportunity index in Q109. Until 2009, the HOI rarely topped 67% and never reached 70%. Although this sounds like a benefit for consumers and borrowers, the index also signifies that home asking prices are near the lowest they've may have ever been nationwide. The National Association of Realtors began tracking home sales data in 1999, in comparison. And as HousingWire reported yesterday, homebuyers are evaluating the increase of circumstantial cost. Syracuse, N.Y. was the most affordable major housing market in the country last quarter, with 97.2% of all homes sold designated in the affordable range (as described above). Syracuse replaced Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind., which was the most affordable market for nearly five years. Also near the top of the list of the most affordable major metro housing markets were Detroit, Mich.; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.; and Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y. With regard to smaller housing markets, Springfield, Ohio topped out the list as the most affordable with an HOI of 96.6%. Other smaller housing markets near the top of the index included Mansfield, Ohio; Bay City, Mich.; Monroe, Mich.; and Lansing-East Lansing, Mich., respectively. These markets were affordable to affordable to families earning a median income of $54,800. Prices were still competitive in New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., as NAHB reported an HOI of only 19.9% for Q210. This was the ninth consecutive quarter that the New York metropolitan division has occupied this position. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif., was the least affordable of the smaller metro housing markets in the country during the second quarter. Write to Christine Ricciardi.