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Local housing ranked among most affordable in region

February 11, 2002

Local housing ranked among most affordable in region



By SCOTT BUTKI
scottb@herald-mail.com


The Hagerstown area is the sixth most affordable metropolitan housing area in the southern region of the United States, according to figures released by the National Association of Home Builders.

The southern region includes 62 cities in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

The information is for the third quarter of 2001. More recent information is not yet available.

The area was ranked eighth in the same quarter of 2000, the association said.

The Washington-based professional association's Housing Opportunity Index measures the affordability of homes in a market by looking at the percentage of homes sold that a family earning the median income in that market can afford to buy.

Nationwide, the Hagerstown area was ranked the 27th most affordable metropolitan housing area for the third quarter of 2001. The ranking was based on more than 750,000 sales of new and existing homes in 186 metropolitan markets, the association said.

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Hagerstown ranked 25th in the third quarter of 2000.

In the third quarter of 2001, families in the Hagerstown area earning a median family annual income of $50,500 could afford 80 percent of new and existing homes sold in the area, according to the index.

Nationally, the median family income was $52,500, the index said. About 61.5 percent of families earning that income could afford to buy a house, the index said.

The median home sales price in the Hagerstown area was $125,000, below the national median home sales price of $161,000, the index said.

The index, dating to early 1991, is based on median family income calculated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, interest rates and the price distributions of homes sold for each market in a particular quarter.

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