The National Association of Home Builders has said that housing affordability reached an all-time higher during the fourth quarter of last year.
According to real estate data from the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, nearly 76 percent of all properties sold during the final quarter of 2011 were affordable to households making the national median income of $64,200.
"While today's report indicates that homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for more than two decades, overly restrictive lending conditions confronting home buyers and builders remain significant obstacles to many potential homes sales, even with interest rates at historically low levels," said NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg.
However, the report noted that despite the gains, a number of prospective borrowers are currently unable to capitalize on the rising affordability due to strict lending regulations.
Regionally, the report indicated that the most affordable housing market in the country is currently the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman area in Ohio and Pennsylvania, where 95.1 percent of all homes on the market were affordable to those living in the region with a median income of $54,900.
In contrast, the most unaffordable market during the fourth quarter was New York-White Plain-Wayne area in New York and New Jersey.