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Housing Affordability Registers Slight Uptick in First Quarter

Housing Affordability Registers Slight Uptick in First Quarter

Rising wages and moderating home prices offset a rise in mortgage interest rates to give housing affordability a slight boost in the first quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released today.

“Builders are reporting confidence and solid traffic in many markets across the nation even as they continue to grapple with nagging headwinds,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “Regulatory constraints, trade barriers on Canadian softwood lumber, and persistent shortages of lots and labor are slowing the pace of the housing recovery.

“Ongoing job growth continues to fuel demand for housing, while wage growth is helping to offset the effects of rising mortgage rates and keep home prices affordable,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “NAHB anticipates that housing will continue on a gradual, upward path throughout the year.”

In all, 60.3 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $68,000. This is up from the 59.9 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the fourth quarter.

Read full article: NAHB.org