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Buffalo, N.Y. Rated Most Affordable Major U.S. Housing Market

August 25, 2005

Ohio Dominates Top-10 List of Most Affordable Metros

The metropolitan statistical area comprising Buffalo and Niagara Falls, N.Y. is the nation’s most affordable housing market among major metros with populations over 500,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) for the second quarter of 2005.

Also near the top of the affordability scale among major metros with populations over 500,000 were Indianapolis, Ind.; Dayton, Ohio, and the area encompassing Youngstown, Warren and Boardman, Ohio-Pa., in that order.

Ohio scored the greatest number of major metros on the top-10 list, with a total of four (including Dayton, Youngstown, Toledo and Akron). The state also had three of the 10 most affordable metro areas with populations under 500,000, including Mansfield, Lima and the area comprising Canton and Massillon, Ohio.

Overall housing affordability across the United States fell for the second consecutive quarter, dipping 4.2 points to 45.9 on the HOI – meaning that approximately 46 percent of new and existing homes sold in the second quarter were affordable to median-income families. This decline was mostly attributable to a 7 percent gain in the average price of homes sold in the year’s second quarter versus the first quarter.

“One very positive factor was favorable interest rates, which continued to fuel prospects for homeownership in the second quarter,” noted Dave Wilson, a custom home builder and NAHB president. “That said, housing affordability is increasingly an issue in markets nationwide, and local governments should do all they can to keep fees and regulations from adding too much to the cost of homes.”

In the most affordable major metro area of Buffalo-Niagara Falls, nearly 90 percent of new and existing homes sold during the second quarter were affordable to families making the area’s median income of $57,000. The median price of homes that sold in Buffalo during the second quarter was just $75,000.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. – the least affordable major metro with 500,000 or more people – just 3.6 percent of all homes sold were affordable to those making the median income of $54,500 when the median sales price was $461,000.

California once again was the least affordable state overall, with eight out of 10 metros on the least affordable list among markets with over 500,000 people and nine out of 10 metros on the list for markets under 500,000.

Source: NAHB/Wells Fargo

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