Hagerstown ranks 63rd among top housing markets


Hagerstown was the nation's 63rd most affordable housing market during the second quarter of 1996, according to the Housing Opportunity Index compiled by the National Association of Home Builders. Baltimore ranked 92nd on the housing affordability chart.

The Housing Opportunity Index measures the proportion of homes sold in a specific market that a family earning the median income in that market could afford to buy. The survey also takes into account the differences in property tax rates and the cost of property insurance.

Second-quarter tabulations analyzed about 425,000 sales of new and existing homes in each of the 181 metropolitan areas surveyed.

In Hagerstown, a family earning the median income of $40,400 could have purchased 73 percent of the homes sold during the second quarter. The median sales price was $98,000.

Baltimore families making the median income of $52,400 could have bought 68.6 percent of the houses sold in the area from April through June. The median price was $128,000.

Hagerstown is the 27th best housing market in the South, while Baltimore ranks 41st. Baton Rouge, La., seventh nationally, is the least expensive place to buy a home in the southern region. El Paso, Texas, the most expensive home market in the South, ranked 165th nationally.

Rockford, Ill., ranked as the country's most affordable housing market. There, a family earning the median income of $44,000 could purchase 87.1 percent of the housing sold.

Pub Date: 8/25/96

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