When it comes to finding a house to purchase, Mansfield is among those cities where it is possible to get a great deal of “bang for the buck.”

Such was the finding of the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index for the third quarter of 2017 released on Thursday.

In all, 58.3% of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $68,000. This is down from the 59.4% of homes sold in the second quarter.

‘Though builder confidence remains strong, we continue to deal with the long-term repercussions of this devastating hurricane season, which has exacerbated chronic labor and lot shortages and put upward pressure on material and home prices,’ said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald.

‘Solid economic growth, along with ongoing quarterly job gains and rising household formations, are fueling housing demand,’ said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. ‘Tight inventories and a forecast of rising mortgage interest rates through 2018 will keep home prices on a gradual upward path and slowly lessen housing affordability in the quarters ahead.’

The national median home price rose to $260,000 in the third quarter from $256,000 in the second quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, average mortgage rates inched up two basis points to 4.1% from 4.08% in the second quarter.

Wheeling, West Virginia was rated the nation’s most affordable smaller market, with 94.7% of homes sold in the third quarter being affordable to families earning the median income of $56,100. Smaller markets joining Wheeling at the top of the list included Lima, Ohio; Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa-Illinois; Bay City, Michigan — and Mansfield which also posted a fifth place tie with Binghamton, New York.

All five least affordable small housing markets were in California. At the very bottom of the affordability chart was Salinas, where 11.3% of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $63,100.

In descending order, other small markets at the lowest end of the affordability scale included Santa Cruz-Watsonville; San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande; Napa; and San Rafael.

Visit nahb.org/hoi for tables, historic data and details.

Source: Press release

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