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JACKSON, MICH. MOST AFFORDABLE HOUSING MARKET IN NATION IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 1993, ACCORDING TO NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Jackson, Mich. was the nation's most affordable housing market during the third quarter of 1993, according to the Housing Opportunity Index compiled by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
 "The Midwest market is a strong area of the nation for affordability. But with mortgage interest rates still so low, homes are more affordable today in just about every area of the country," said NAHB President J. Roger Glunt.
 The NAHB Housing Opportunity Index measures the ability of a typical family to purchase a home in its own market by comparing median family income with median home price.
 Of the 188 metropolitan areas surveyed, the Jackson, Mich. area posted the highest score, 94.8, making it the most affordable area in the country, replacing Champaign-Urbana-Rantoul, Ill. -- the most affordable area in the second quarter. San Francisco, measuring 17.5 on the Housing Opportunity Index, remained the nation's most expensive city for housing.
 Even the most expensive areas, like San Francisco, again showed some improvement in affordability as interest rates moved downward from a national average of 7.27 in the second quarter, to 7.04 in the third quarter.
 "It's a great time to jump into the housing market, either as a first-time buyer or a trade-up buyer," Glunt said. "Affordability conditions haven't been this good in more than 20 years, the last time interest rates were so low."
 Regional trends remained steady with the most affordable markets found primarily in the Midwest and in the South, and the least affordable markets mostly in the West, particularly California, and the Northeast.
 In Jackson, the median income was $38,700 and the median home price was $65,000. According to the mortgage underwriting standards used for calculating the index, at the prevailing interest rate of 7.04 percent, a family could afford to purchase a home costing 3.5 times its annual income, or in this case, $135,450. In the Jackson area, 94.8 percent of the homes sold during the third quarter were priced at or below $135,450, making it the most affordable area in the country.
 Conversely, in San Francisco, where the median income was $54,300 and the median home price was $280,000, the typical family could afford a home costing $190,050. Only 17.5 percent of the homes sold in San Francisco during the third quarter were priced at or below $190,050, making the City by the Bay the least affordable housing market in the country once again.
 The third quarter tabulations analyzed about 600,000 sales of new and existing homes in 188 markets.
 In the third quarter, the national median home price was $110,000. National household income remained unchanged at $39,700. Households earning the national median income of $39,700 could afford to buy 65.1 percent of the homes offered for sale nationwide, the same as in the second quarter.
 Of the 25 most affordable markets, 19 were in the Midwest, four were in the Northeast, one was in the South and one was in the West.
 The least affordable markets were found mostly in the West (17 in California), with five in the Northeast, one in the South and one in Hawaii.
 Regionally, the most affordable housing markets were Jackson, Mich. in the Midwest; Nashua, N.H. in the Northeast; Brazoria, Texas in the South; and Pueblo, Colo. in the West.
 The least affordable markets in each region remained unchanged. They were San Francisco in the West; Stamford, Conn. in the Northeast; El Paso, Texas in the South; and Chicago in the Midwest.
 -0- 1/11/94
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: The Housing Opportunity Index shows the percentage of both new and existing homes sold during the quarter that could have been purchased by a family earning the median income in a particular metropolitan area at the prevailing mortgage interest rate.
 According to the mortgage underwriting standards used for calculating this index, a family could afford to purchase a home equal to 3.5 times its annual income at the prevailing mortgage interest rate, which was 7.04 percent during the third quarter of 1993.
 The data in this release was analyzed by the NAHB Economics and Housing Policy Department and comes from two different sources. The home price data was collected from official court records by Metromail, an Atlanta-based marketing company. The median household income for each metro area was calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development./
 /CONTACT: Gopal Ahluwalia of the National Association of Home Builders, 202-822-0480/


CO: National Association of Home Builders ST: District of Columbia, Michigan IN: CST SU: ECO

KD-KW -- DC026 -- 1173 01/11/94 17:47 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 11, 1994
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