The National Association of Realtors Housing Affordability Index reached a record high in 2011. The index, which began in 1970, measures the relationship between median home price, median family income, and average mortgage interest rate. The index defines 100 as the point where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify to purchase a median-priced home. In 2011, the index reached 184.5. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the Midwest and South have the greatest concentration of areas where home buyers have the strongest purchasing power. According to Yun, the West Coast and Northeastern Seaboard have higher-priced homes which accounts for lower affordability ratings. More here.


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