Magazine article American Banker

U.S. Housing Most Affordable since March '77

Magazine article American Banker

U.S. Housing Most Affordable since March '77

Article excerpt

U.S. Housing Most Affordable Since March '77

WASHINGTON - Continued declines in mortgage rates and home prices made U.S. homes more affordable in October and pushed the National Association of Realtors' housing affordability index to its highest level in nearly 15 years.

The trade group's index, which tracks home buying ability, was 118.8 in October, up from a revised September index of 116.3. The figure is the highest since March 1977, when it was 120.7.

118% of Income for Mortgage

A family earning the national median annual income of $36,473 had 118.8% of the income needed to qualify for a conventional mortgage covering 80% of a median priced home.

The interest rate used to compute the index was 9.02% in October, down from 9.17% in September. The rate is the lowest since July 1977, when it was also 9.02%.

The Realtors' association said October's median family income was up $112 from September's $36,361 and up $1,310 from October 1990. …

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