RENO, Nev. — Reno and Las Vegas rank near the middle nationally but continue to boast some of the most-affordable housing in the West. Santa Cruz, Calif., edged out San Francisco for the least-affordable housing in the nation.
The results come from the National Association of Home Builders, which compiles the list each year by comparing family incomes and home prices for metropolitan areas around the country. The latest survey is based on third-quarter numbers for 2001.
The Santa Cruz metro area’s median income is $65,000, and the median home price is $420,000, up $5,000 from the previous quarterly survey.
San Francisco dropped to second, as its median home price fell $10,000 to $520,000, still the most expensive median home price in the country.
In the West, Anchorage, Alaska, claims the most-affordable housing, with about 80 percent of its housing affordable to families with median incomes, the report said.
That’s due in large part to the relatively large median family income in Alaska — $60,500 in 2001. The median sales price for a home there was $145,000.
Phoenix ranked second among the 48 major metropolitan areas in the West in terms of most-affordable housing, followed by Albuquerque, N.M.
Reno-Sparks tied with Bakersfield, Calif., for fourth regionally, with about 68 percent of the housing in both areas affordable to families with median incomes. Las Vegas was next at 67 percent, followed by Viaslia-Tulare-Porterville, Calif.; Salt Lake City; Tucson, Ariz., and Olympia, Wash.
The median family income in the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area in 2001 was $58,400 with a median home sale price of $167,000. In Bakersfield, the houses are cheaper, $109,000, but the median income is lower as well, $40,300.
Las Vegas reported median income of $52,100 and houses priced at $150,000.
Nationally, Reno and Bakersfield tied for 97th in terms of affordability with Las Vegas at 150 out of 186 metropolitan areas.
The regional figures are somewhat skewed in the West because nine of the 10 least-affordable markets in the nation are in California. The Salinas metro area in Monterey County was third, followed by San Jose, which has a $450,000 median home price — the second-most expensive median home price in the nation.
Rounding out the top 10 behind San Jose were Santa Rosa, the Vallejo-Fairfield-Napa area, the San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles area, Oakland and San Diego. The Portsmouth-Rochester area in New Hampshire and Maine took 10th in the study.
The most affordable housing was found in Rockford, Ill., which has a median home price of $99,000 and a median family income of $57,100.
Among cities of more than 1 million people, Indianapolis was the most affordable, with a median home price of $130,000 and a median income of $60,700.
Santa Cruz has been vehemently anti-growth, but with such an expensive housing market, the City Council is trying to come up with solutions for environmentally sound and affordable housing.