Housing affordability has increased dramatically over the past five years, due to price declines following the housing bubble’s collapse and mortgage rates near record lows. According to an analysis from David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv, the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced single-family home has dropped nearly 40 percent. In 2006, the median mortgage payment was $1,140. Now it is $700. Stiff said mortgage payments now account for just 13 percent of a family’s monthly income, down from 23 percent in 2006. The ratio of mortgage payments to monthly income is the lowest its been since 1971. Still, Stiff says economic growth needs to accelerate in order to boost consumer confidence and increase the housing market’s rate of recovery. More here.