Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Housing Affordability Numbers for July

At the national level, housing affordability is down from a year ago and for the month of July as rates top four percent down from the levels of 2014 and home prices are still outgrowing incomes that are only rising two percent.


Housing affordability is down from a year ago in July as the median price for a single family home in the US is up from a year ago. Regionally, the West had the biggest increase in price at 8.4 percent while the Northeast experienced the slowest price growth at 1.8 percent. The Midwest price increased 6.5 percent while the South had gains of 7.1 percent.

The median single-family home price is $ 235,500 up 5.8 percent from July 2014. July’s mortgage rate is 4.19, down 6 basis points (one percentage point equals 100 basis points) from last year. Nationally, affordability is down from 155.4 in July 2014 to 151.2 in July 2015.


Affordability is down from one month ago in all regions, and the West had the largest drop in the affordability index of 2.1 percent while the South fell only 0.4 percent. From one year ago, affordability is down in all regions except the Northeast which had an increase of 2.0 percent. The West saw the biggest decline in affordability at 4.3 percent and the Midwest had the smallest decline of 3.0 percent.


 Despite month to month changes, the most affordable region is the Midwest where the index is 191.9. The index is 160 in the South, 150.7 in the Northeast, and 114.4 in the West.

Housing markets with low inventory levels may continue to experience rising home prices however, improvement in job creation and steady income gains helps offset major price growth. Mortgage applications are currently down for new and existing homes which could be seasonal or a sign that rising rates are having an impact on affordability.

What does housing affordability look like in your market?  View the full data release here.

The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principle and interest payment to income).  See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

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