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According to NAR’s latest metro price report, affordability conditions are improving in housing markets across the country. This trend is bolstered by softer existing-home prices coupled with record low interest rates.

Median prices for existing single family homes softened in 118 metro areas and as a result reflected greater home sales activity at lower price points. Sales rose strongly in the lower price ranges from one year ago. 

Nationally, the median existing single family home price was $163,500 in the fourth quarter of 2011, down 4.2 percent from $170,600 in the fourth quarter of 2010. NAR’s national Housing Affordability index rose to a record high 184.5 in 2011. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power. 

Story Springboard

What it really means Talk to a Realtor® about the real costs of homeownership for buyers in today’s market. How much can a buyer actually save with today’s prices and interest rates compared to five years ago? What about credit availability? What do their buyers need to do be approved for a mortgage, and how has that changed from years’ past?