News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Eye on Housing / NAHB / November 14, 2013
Strengthening house prices and increased interest rates in metros across the country contributed to lower housing affordability in the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).
In all, 64.5 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $64,400. This is down from the 69.3 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the second quarter, and the biggest HOI decline since the second quarterRead More
Nick Timiraos / The Wall Street Journal / September 16, 2013
For the past year, more U.S. housing markets have had the feel of a blowout flea-market sale.
Prices were low and financing—while hard to get—was cheap for those who could get it. Once it was clear prices had found a bottom, bidding wars broke out as buyers competed over a shrinking supply of homes to get a good deal.
That sent prices up—sharply, in many markets—and for a while, buyers didn’t much mind. Falling interest rates made it possible for buyers to offer slightly higher prices without raising their monthly ownership costs.
But now, mortgage rates are up by a full percentage pointRead More
David Crowe / NAHB / August 22, 2013
Recent gains in home prices and rising interest rates have put in a dent in housing affordability. According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, 69.3% of the homes sold between the beginning of April and end of June were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $64,400. This is down from 73.7% in the first quarter and the first time that the measure has fallen below 70% since late 2008.
However, interest rates remain low and underlying economic fundamentals should support continued growth for housing, with occasional monthly ups and downs. The NAHB/Wells FargoRead More
Michael Neal / NAHB / August 5, 2013
According to Freddie Mac, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose by 8 basis points over the week to 4.39%. Since the beginning of the year, mortgage rates have risen by about 1 percentage point and are now at a level last seen in August 2011.
The rapid rise in mortgage interest rates could affect housing affordability through higher monthly mortgage payments. However, monthly mortgage payments are not the only path by which rising interest rates can affect affordability. Homebuyers can instead decide to raise their downpayment amount in order to maintain an otherwiseRead More
Rose Quint / NAHB / May 14, 2013
Nationwide housing affordability held near historic highs in the first quarter of 2013, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), at 73.7 percent, down slightly from 74.9 percent in the final quarter of 2012.
The HOI is the share of new and existing homes sold in a quarter affordable to a family earning the median income. An HOI of 73.7 means that 73.7 percent of all homes sold in the first three months of 2013 were affordable to families earning the national median income ($64,400).