One of the upsides of a crashing-and-burning housing market, as Edward Glaeser noted back in October, is that buying a home becomes more affordable.
And indeed, according to an index released by the National Association of Realtors, housing affordability was at an all-time high in December.
The Housing Affordability Index composite level for December was 158.8. A composite H.A.I. value of 158.8 means that a family earning the median income has 158.8 percent of the income needed to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. The index had fallen during most of the housing bubble, when it became more and more expensive to buy a home. But December’s composite level was the highest the index has reached since the association began collecting this data in 1971.