Falling prices offset rising mortgage rates in the final three months of 1994 and, for the first time in a year, boosted the ability of a typical American family to buy a previously owned home.
The National Association of Realtors said last week that its Housing Affordability Index measured 131.6 in the fourth quarter, up from 128.0 in the previous three months.
When the index measures 100, a family earning the median income has exactly the amount needed to purchase a median-priced home, using conventional financing and a 20 percent down payment.
The NAR said half the families had at least 131.6 percent of the income needed for the purchase of a home with a median price of $107,900.
NEWS IN BRIEF
* A J Funding has opened for business in Columbia. A J Funding is a financial investment company specializing in the purchase of owner-financed notes secured by mortgages and other securities.
* The Apartment Builders and Owners Council of the Home Builders Association of Maryland has elected P. J. Widerman president for 1995. She is vice president of residential properties for Partners Management Co. of Towson. She joined Partners as a regional manager in 1990 and was promoted to vice president in 1994. A resident of Hydes, she has a master's degree from Antioch University in Ohio.
* The Berkshire Corp. of Towson named Linda Veach vice president of new home sales. Before joining Berkshire she was vice president and director of sales operations for Foundation Homes Inc. She also worked for O'Conor, Piper and Flynn.
Ms. Veach has a bachelor's degree from Loyola College and a master's degree in real estate develop- ment from Johns Hopkins University. She is a certified instructor for the National Association of Home Builders and a member of the board of directors of the Johns Hopkins University Real Estate Roundtable.