The Lone Star State is known for its affordable home listings, but this trend is even more pronounced in today's low interest rate environment.
A Texas homebuyer making $37,351 a year can now qualify to buy a 30-year, 80% loan valued at $150,000. At the current interest rate of 4%, the monthly payments on such a loan would hit $572.90, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
Compare that to 1991, when a homeowner had to make $49,023 annually to qualify for the same loan at the day's prevailing interest rate of 9.64%, the center said.
While Texas maintains a home affordability lead over other states, the gap is starting to narrow with the state's housing recovery.
James Gaines, a research economist with the Real Estate Center, said the national median home price slipped 25% from 2006 and 2011, while Texas' median price grew 4% during the same period.
Overall, Gaines believes 2012 will be even better at the national level as interest rates and median prices stabilize. At the same time, he believes affordability in Texas could decline as prices begin to outpace incomes in the region.