And Another Top 10 City List: Most Affordable U.S. Cities to Buy a Home
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Home affordability is a function of the cost of the home, monthly payments (mortgage payment, taxes and insurance), and the level of income at that locale. The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo compiled a list of the 10 Cities With the Most Affordable Housing that was published at the CNNMoney Web Site.
In addition to the data reported by the study, I also added the net change in jobs in the past 12 months, the job growth rate (loss) and the April 2012 unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted). Note that only two of the 10 cities included on the list report net job losses in the prior 12 months. And based on the April 2012 U.S. unemployment rate of 7.9 percent, just two of the cities were really outliers. Modesto, California, posted a 16.4 percent unemployment rate in April, 2012, while Ogden, Utah, was 6.1 percent.
The Affordability Score reports the number of households that make at least the median level of income that can afford the median-priced home. A major component of the cost of housing is tied to interest rates, and that remains at or near the all time low.
As a side note, the National Association of Home Builders Web Site has a large number of data series on housing including local market-specific data for some locales going back to 1991.
The bottom line is that it is now probably as affordable as housing may get for many individuals for potentially the remainder of their lives.