Naturally, for home buyers, affordability is a top concern. That's not a surprise. Anyone thinking about buying a home in the near future is likely going to first try to figure out how much house they can afford. That means, keeping an eye on mortgage-rate fluctuations and where home prices are headed. But there are other, less obvious, factors that can affect the cost of housing in your area. Construction, for example. The amount and type of housing that's being built in the neighborhoods you're interested in can have an impact on affordability. That's because, as the number of homes available for sale increases, it reduces competition and helps relieve pressure on prices. So, if there are a lot of new homes being built in your area, chances are they're helping to keep prices from spiking. That's why there's been a renewed focus on diversifying the housing stock and building smaller, more affordable new homes. Since much of the new residential construction taking place these days is of higher-end, more expensive homes, there's a growing need for homes that will help meet demand from first-time buyers and slow entry-level home prices. More here.