NAR: Housing Affordability Hindered by Stagnant Incomes

While the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reveals the vast majority of metropolitan areas continued to experience strong year-over-year price growth in Q4 2013, a companion metro area annual affordability report pictures less favorable conditions, particularly in the West. According to, with 119 out of 164 metropolitan statistical areas recording gains based on closings in the fourth quarter compared with the same period of 2012, the median existing single-family home price rose in 73% of the markets.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, says there are two interpretations of the gains in home value: The significant gains in home equity over the last two years has resulted in increased consumer spending, which is good for the overall economy. At the same time, as understands, Yun says, “Home prices have been rising faster than incomes, while mortgage interest rates are above the record lows of a year ago. This is beginning to hamper housing affordability.”

(Image credit:–home prices increase)

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