Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Widespread Affordability Gains for Buyers

  • The ratio of home prices to household income is a common measure of homebuyer affordability. This metric improved again in 2010 as the median home price fell to about 3.4 times the median household income, the lowest level since 1995 and in line with the 1980-2000 average.
  • Meanwhile, the Freddie Mac 30-year mortgage interest rate slipped from 5.00 percent in the first quarter of last year to 4.41 percent in the fourth. Indeed, the October reading of 4.23 percent was the lowest level since the series began in 1971.
  • Source: The State of the Nation's Housing 2011, Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University;
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