Lack of Inventory, Higher Prices Push Housing Affordability Near Two-Year Low!
Record-low mortgage rates were not enough to offset inventory shortages and rising home prices as housing affordability continued to decline in the third quarter of 2020, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).
In all, 58.3 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and end of September were affordable to families earning an adjusted U.S. median income of $72,900. This is down from the 59.6 percent of homes sold in the second quarter of 2020 that were affordable to median-income earners and the lowest reading since the fourth quarter of 2018.
HOI calculations use median family income estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, HUD’s estimates for 2020 were developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. To account for the pandemic’s effects, estimates were adjusted consistent with NAHB’s economic forecast for 2020. As a result, the 2020 median income estimates used in HOI calculations are 7.1 percent lower than the initial 2020 estimates produced by HUD. Rose Quint NAHB 11/5/20