Nationwide housing affordability during the second quarter of 2011 hovered for the 10th consecutive quarter near its highest level in the more than 20 years, according to National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).

According to the HOI, families earning the national median income of $64,200 could afford 72.6 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the second quarter. The affordability measure dipped slightly from the record high of 74.6 percent set in the first quarter, but it remained above the 70 percent threshold initially achieved in the first quarter of 2009.

“At a time when homeownership is within reach of more households than it has been for more than two decades, and interest rates are at historically low levels, the sluggish economy and the extremely tight credit conditions confronting homebuyers and builders remain significant obstacles to many potential home sales,” says Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “That said, however, some housing markets across the country have stabilized and are beginning to show signs of a budding recovery.”

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