Housing Affordability: Report and Analysis on the Most Affordable Housing Markets in America

Indianapolis followed by Detroit/Dearborn, Michigan; Dayton and Youngstown, Ohio; and Akron, Ohio top the list of the most affordable housing markets in America, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index which was released February 19, 2010. Nationwide housing affordability, bolstered by favorable interest rates and housing prices which have been beaten way down, ended the year near its highest level ever. At year end 2009, the Housing Opportunity Index showed that:

  • 70.8% of all homes sold in the final quarter of 2009 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,000.
  • Affordability was slightly higher than in the previous quarter.
  • Affordability was near the record-high of 72.5% set during the first quarter of 2009.
  • Affordability during 4th Quarter 2009 was up from 62.4% during the fourth quarter of 2008.

The New York metro area continued to lead the nation as its least affordable major housing market in the fourth quarter of 2009 and has occupied this position for seven straight quarters. Less than 20 percent of all homes sold in that market in 4th Quarter 2009 were affordable to those earning the area’s median income of $64,800. Other metro areas near the bottom of the affordability scale included San Francisco; Honolulu; Santa Ana/Anaheim; and Los Angeles.

Indianapolis again was the most affordable, a position the metro area now has held for four and a half years. More than 95% of all homes sold in Indianapolis were affordable to households earning the area’s median income of $68,100. Other smaller housing markets near the top of the index include Monroe, Flint and Bay City Michigan, and Lima, Ohio.

All things considered, New York, California and Hawaii aren’t very affordable. At the other end of the spectrum, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are very affordable, but aren’t in very much demand. Thus, I conclude with the obvious, a position I have maintained for several years. Dallas Texas is the best of all  worlds, blending one of the most affordable housing markets in the country and, interestingly, one of the best places to live in America. Heck, US News & World Report recently reported that Plano is one of the 10 Best Places To Grow Up. What could be better?


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