One source of new buyers for sure is the huge number of people for whom homes are now way more affordable. For families making the national median income, the share of homes they can afford stayed above 70% for the sixth quarter in a row as tracked by the Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).

The National Association of Home Builders, which co-sponsors the HOI, said this affordability was the result of low home prices and favorable mortgage rates. The NAHB chairman commented, “Homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for almost a generation…with house prices starting to stabilize, conditions are beginning to draw homebuyers back into the market…”

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