During the first quarter of 2014, 65.5 percent of new and existing homes sold were affordable to a family earning the U.S. median income of $63,900, according to the National Association of Home Builders Opportunity Index. The improvement over the previous quarter was largely due to a dip in the national median home price and the fact that average mortgage rates remained steady during this period. But the slight increase in the number of affordable homes – up from 64.7 percent at the end of last year – is also an encouraging sign for the housing market going into the spring and summer season. David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, said the first-quarter results are another indicator that this is an opportune time to buy a home, as home prices and mortgage rates are expected to rise through the end of this year and into next. Also in the release, the national median home price fell from $205,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $195,000 in the first quarter of this year. More here.