The National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index for the second quarter of this year reached 176.6, the third highest level since record keeping began in 1970. The previous high came during the first quarter of 2011. The affordability index measures the relationship between median home price, family income, and mortgage rates. The NAR’s latest quarterly report also found home values up in 27 percent of metropolitan areas, though the national median, existing-home price fell 2.8 percent from a year earlier. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said median home prices have been moving up and down in a relatively narrow range, which shows a stabilization trend. Existing-home sales declined from the second quarter of 2010, though last year’s estimates were elevated by the homebuyer tax credit which expired in June 2010. The percentage of first-time buyers fell to 35 percent from 46 percent the year before. More here.