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The Silver Lining in Today’s Cloudy Market

There is no doubt that the immediate future of today’s housing market is, at best, cloudy. However, there is at least one silver lining which oft times goes unmentioned – affordability. We sometimes tend to concentrate on the seller in this market. There is no doubt that many sellers have seen much, if not all, of their equity disappear as prices have fallen.

The other side of that coin is that more and more buyers can now afford to purchase a home. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) reported this month that:

Nationwide housing affordability, bolstered by favorable interest rates and low house prices, closed out the year near its highest level since the series was first compiled 18 years ago.

The HOI showed that 70.8 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the final quarter of 2009 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,000, slightly higher than the previous quarter and near the record-high 72.5 percent set during the first quarter of 2009. Affordability during the final quarter of the year was up from 62.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008.

NAHB Chairman Bob Jones said:

“Favorable mortgage rates and sliding house prices that have now started to stabilize nationally have both contributed to a record year for housing affordability in 2009.”

To further that point I have included a graph of the HOI since its inception:

The graph shows that affordability was at record lows during the boom years of 2005-2997. But now, more and more can afford the house and the neighborhood that they always dreamed of.

What does this mean to you?

This is the best time to buy a home. Don’t wait for the Tax Credit to end and interest rates to climb. Find the house you want and buy it.


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  1. Home affordability at all time high. Are you going to move?…

    Home affordability is at a record high — more buyers can afford to buy.  That is the good news of this real estate market.  Other good pieces of news are that interest rates remain low, there are tax credit opportunities (Remember, this is not just fo…

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