Housing affordability in the second quarter dipped slightly from record levels, spurred by low interest rates and prices, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing opportunity index released yesterday.

Families earning the national median income of $64,000 could afford 72.3% of all new and existing homes sold in the second quarter, down only slightly from the record-high 72.5% during the previous quarter and up from 55.0% during the second quarter of 2008, the index suggested.

Meanwhile, the decline in commercial real estate activity appears to be slowing, although it is expected to remain weak into 2010, NAR said yesterday.

The commercial leading indicator for brokerage activity fell 1.3% to 101.5 in the second quarter from a downwardly revised 102.8 in the first quarter. The index is 13.7% below the 117.8 posted in the second quarter of 2008, and is at the lowest level since the first quarter of 1994, NAR said.

The sector has been bogged down by the severe credit crunch, sustained job losses, and weak consumer spending.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.