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Industry Watch

Housing affordability near record high, Realtor index shows

Housing affordability slipped in the second quarter but still was at its second-highest level since 1973, the National Association of Realtors reported.

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The Realtors' Housing Affordability Index fell to 143.4, from 144.1 in the first quarter. A reading of 100 means a family with the national median income earns exactly enough to pay for a median-priced home. A higher reading indicates homes are more affordable.

Prices rose 7.4 percent in the second quarter, compared with a year earlier, as the median cost of a single-family house climbed to $168,900. In the first quarter, prices increased 6.8 percent, and in the previous three-month period, prices rose 8.4 percent, the fastest rate since 1986, said Lawrence Yun, an economist with the association.

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Homebuilders taking energy-award applications

The National Association of Home Builders' Research Center is accepting applications for its ninth annual energy-value housing award.

The award honors builders who voluntarily integrate energy efficiency into the design, construction and marketing of new homes.

Winners will be announced in January.

More details about applications are available at www.nahbrc.org/evha or by calling Karin Victorio at 301-430- 6277, or e-mailing her at kvictorio@nahbrc.org. Applications must be postmarked by Sept. 15.

Urban League is offering classes on owning a home

The Greater Baltimore Urban League Inc. is offering free homeownership classes this month.

The series will include opportunities to speak with a lender about credit reports and a question-and-answer session with real estate professionals, loan officers and home inspectors.

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Classes will be held at 512 Orchard St. in Baltimore from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 19; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 23; and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 26. To register, call Shanelle Shakoor at 410-523- 8150, Ext. 246.


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