Friday, February 25, 2011

The Affordability of Housing Reaches a 20-Year Peak


We all know that the housing market has had some challenges in the last couple of years. As the real estate market starts to even out, housing affordability is higher than recorded in over twenty years. This means middle income families can comfortably afford to purchase their own home.

The National Association of Home Builder/Wells Fargo records a Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) every year. This index compares the median income of families in a specified area compared to the income needed to comfortably afford a home purchase. This year they report, “73.9 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the fourth quarter of 2010 were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400.” This statistic is significant because it is the highest percentage on record since they started collecting this data in 1991.

How does this compare to the Tampa Bay market? The HOI in Tampa is 78.2% in the fourth quarter of 2010, with a median income of $59,400. The Tampa real estate market is opening opportunities for more people to become homeowners.

Housing affordability is not the only good news. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, “Mortgage applications increased 13.2 percent from one week earlier” Interest rates are still very low, and buyer confidence is increasing. Buyers are looking for their next property and sellers are should be ready to help.

SI Real Estate is in the mix of all the Real Estate Market’s changes. We work with buyers, sellers, relocations, and investors to learn what trends are taking place in the Tampa real estate market. If you would like advice from Tampa Bay real estate experts call us today at (813)631-5144.