Housing affordability is still at a record high, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Since record keeping started in 1970, it has currently reached its highest recorded level. This is based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate.

This is the first time the housing affordability index has broken the two hundred mark, meaning the typical family has roughly double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home.

If Credit availability improves, we can expect to see a much broader increase in both home sales, and possibly even new home construction.  Availability of credit, and consumer confidence are the two primary factors that are affecting the housing market the most.  Until the economy and market stabilize, many would be buyers don’t have confidence that their home will appreciate in value, and fear finding themselves underwater on their mortgages.