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If you have been thinking of buying a property in the US market, now may be the best time ever to take action on your plans. According to the Wells Fargo Opportunity Index, the combination of sliding property prices and mortgage rates has made home buying today the most affordable it has been in the last twenty years.

The index suggests that the bulk of homes purchased in the last quarter of 2011 could have been purchased by any family making the national median income of $64,200.

The only rub is that mortgage loans have never been harder to get (including for rental property investing). With banks and private lenders tightening lending rules and scrutinizing each mortgage application with an eagle eye, only a handful of applicants are actually managing to land the much coveted mortgages. This has made it almost impossible for the average Joe to take advantage of the rock bottom mortgage rates and purchase a home at a reasonable price.

The lucky few who can land a mortgage in the prevailing market can pick up excellent deals in metro areas of Ohio and Florida. But New York, Honolulu and San Francisco are cities that continue to rank high on the unaffordable list.

For more on this story, continue reading here.

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