The metropolitan Buffalo area continues to have among the lowest housing prices in the nation, making home ownership more likely.

For the second quarter of 2006, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index reported Buffalo ranked as the fourth-most affordable major market, trailing only Indianapolis, Detroit, and Grand Rapids, Mich.. A year ago, Buffalo ranked first, or lowest.

The study is based on median family incomes and median home prices.

The Home Builders/Wells Fargo HOI said 84 percent of existing homes in Buffalo were affordable to 84.1 percent of median-income households. That takes into consideration the median family income of $58,300 and a median home price of $85,000. A year ago, 90 percent of properties were deemed affordable, based on the area's median income of $57,000 and median home prices of $75,000.