Lima, Ohio Is Cheapest Area to Buy A Home

THE landscape for the United States housing market looks much the same. The most-affordable markets are still in the Midwest and South; the least-affordable are in the Northeast and West, particularly California, reports the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Opportunity Index for the July-September quarter.

Lima, Ohio, jumped to first place as the most-affordable market, from 11th in the second-quarter index. San Francisco remained in last place, a position it has held since the Home Builders began the surveys in 1991.

The most-affordable markets by region were Albany, N.Y., in the Northeast; Houma, La., in the South; and Pueblo, Colo., in the West. The least-affordable markets, besides San Francisco in the West, were Des Moines, Iowa; New York City; and Laredo, Texas.

The index measures the proportion of homes sold in a market that a household earning that market's median income could afford.

In '94, carmakers struck gold

CHRYSLER, Toyota, and Mazda reported record US sales for 1994 as foreign and domestic automakers began releasing results from a year marked by surging demand for cars and light trucks.

The Chrysler Corporation's total vehicle sales were up 7.6 percent from 1993, and truck sales were up 14.7 percent, the company reported Wednesday.

Toyota says its US sales were 4.5 percent ahead of 1993, despite a strong Japanese yen that put pressure for higher prices on imported cars sold here by Japanese companies. Toyota's 1994 sales of cars built in the US were 11 percent higher than those of the previous year.

Mazda Motor of America says 1994 sales were 8.9 percent higher than 1993.

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