L.A. was one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the country in the first quarter of 2016, according to a study released Thursday by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. The least affordable, for 14 consecutive quarters, was San Francisco.
All of the markets at the bottom of the affordability index are in California. The combined L.A., Long Beach and Glendale markets came in second from last. The other combined markets in the bottom five were Anaheim, Santa Ana and Irvine; San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara; and San Diego/Carlsbad.
L.A. is not be affordable for renters, either, according to other studies. Last month, it was named the fifth worst city for renters by Forbes.
But the most affordable markets cited in the report aren’t exactly cosmopolitan. For the second quarter in a row, the greater Youngstown area in Ohio stole the number one spot for most affordable in NAHB’s rankings.
Syracuse, New York, took the silver, followed by the greater Indianapolis area of Indiana; the greater Scranton area of Pennsylvania and Toledo, Ohio.
Meanwhile, national affordability is flourishing. In fact, in the first quarter of this year, the affordability index saw an increase. Between January and the end of March, 65 percent of all homes sold were deemed affordable to families earning the US median income — $65,700.
“This is the second consecutive quarter that we’ve seen a nationwide improvement in affordability due to favorable home prices and mortgage rates,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a statement. “These factors, along with rising employment, a growing economy and pent-up demand will provide a boost for home sales in the second half of 2016.” — Cathaleen Chen