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Metro area home prices boost consumer affordability

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 9:25:26 AM

Housing affordability increased in many metropolitan areas in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the latest report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This is attributed to rising home sales, lower inventory, record low mortgage rates, increased residential financing and lower existing home prices.

The report indicates a favorable buying condition is developing across the United States.

"Sales have risen strongly in lower price ranges from one year ago, while sales at the upper end remain sluggish," Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said. "More importantly, we’re seeing a consistent trend of declining inventory, which means supply and demand conditions are becoming more balanced in more areas, which will help stabilize home prices."

The national median single-family home price was $163,500 in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the report. This is a decrease of 4.2 percent from the $170,600 median price tag for homes in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Residential lending options are more readily available for consumers seeking properties at the more affordable rate.ADNFCR-16001052-ID-800708427-ADNFCR