The Wall Street Journal's Nick Timiraos reports current, high levels of housing affordability are actually a mirage.

"The total cost of homeownership, as a share of a borrower’s income, is the same today as it was during the height of the housing mania, according to the study by Andrew Davidson and Alexander Levin of mortgage consulting firm Andrew Davidson & Co," the article states.

The reports continues: "The authors estimate that the all-in cost of a home purchase stood at more than 9% of the property value in 2011, compared to around 7% in 2006. The gap is even wider in states like California, where borrowers took advantage of exotic loan products during the boom. As a result, rising interest rates could be more than offset by more flexible underwriting standards."