The affordability of homes starts with the price of the empty lot. A home usually sells for 5 to 6 times what the lots costs. So a $50,000 lot may yield a $300,000 house. Homes are affordable when prices are between 3.2 & 3.8 times a household’s income. Dr. James Gaines, chief economist at the TX A&M Real Estate Center, looks for a 5% downturn in single family homebuilding as lack of affordable retail lots.