A decrease in interest rates and home prices as 2014 ended boosted the affordability of the nation’s housing stock, according to a new survey from NAHB and Wells Fargo.
The National Association of Home Builders says 62.8 percent of new and existing houses sold between October and December 2014 were considered within reach of the families earning the nation’s $63,900 median income. The figure was a one percentage point increase from the third quarter’s figures.
"This upturn in affordability for the final quarter of 2014 is a positive development and is in line with what we are hearing from builders in the field that more prospective buyers are starting to move forward in the marketplace," said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.
The national median home price dropped from $220,800 to $215,000. The median means 50 percent of houses sold for more and half sold for less.
Average interest rates on a 30-year mortgage dropped from 4.35 percent to 4.29 percent.
The housing market remains healthy, said David Crowe, the association’s chief economist.
"Affordable home prices, historically low mortgage rates and an improving job market will release pent-up demand and help keep the housing market moving forward in the year ahead," Crowe said.