Housing affordability falls, builders' index showsHousing...

INDUSTRY WATCH

October 23, 1994

Housing affordability falls, builders' index shows

Housing affordability fell steeply in the second quarter, according to an index by the National Association of Home Builders.

Reflecting higher mortgage rates, the national score fell to 60, from 67.5 in the January-March period. The index measures the percentage of all homes that a family with a median income could purchase. Nationally, the median price of a home was $114,000, meaning that households earning the median income of $39,900 could afford to buy 60 percent of the homes offered for sale nationwide.

The Midwest had the most affordable housing in the second quarter, although rising mortgage rates trimmed Americans' ability to buy homes throughout much of the nation. The Midwest had 18 of the 25 most affordable markets, including Kokomo, Ind., most affordable of all.

Baltimore was the 77th most affordable on the list of 186 markets.

The least affordable markets were in the Northeast and West, particularly California. San Francisco was the least affordable.

Fannie Mae to expand bilingual aid for renters

The Federal National Mortgage Association plans to expand a bilingual education program to help renters in five U.S. cities buy homes.

The five metropolitan areas are Baltimore, Cleveland, Oakland-San Francisco-San Jose, San Antonio, and Washington. The company, better known as Fannie Mae, plans to expand the campaign this fall to New York, Boston, Milwaukee and Charlotte, N.C.

Fannie Mae offers free, step-by-step guides developed to help consumers through the home-buying process through its "Opening Doors" campaign.

The bilingual campaign directs consumers to call 1-800-688-HOME (or 1-800-782-2729 for Spanish-speaking consumers) to receive the free mortgage guide.

Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored, publicly traded company that buys mortgages to either hold in its portfolio or sell to other investors.

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