Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Latest Housing Affordability Data

At the national level, housing affordability is up slightly for the month but higher mortgage rates and home prices have pushed affordability lower from a year ago. What is affordability like in your market?

  • Housing affordability is up for the month of October in the U.S. and all 4 regions as prices increased slightly from September. The median single-family home price is up 12.7 % from last year as October marks the eleventh consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year price gains for single-family homes.
  • Nationally, affordability is down from 203.7 in October 2012 to 165.4 in October 2013.
  • Mortgage rates are down from last month and up 25.8% from a year ago. Lower rates help affordability but an increase in inventory will help ease the pressure on home prices.
  • By region, affordability is up from one month ago in all regions except the Northeast, where there was a 5.0% decrease in affordability. The Midwest had the biggest gain in affordability at 2.7%. From one year ago, affordability is down in all regions. The West has had the largest price gain at 16.7 % while the Northeast had the smallest at 7.4%.
  • For a look at how the housing market might respond to higher rates, I recommend this Stress Test by Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
  • 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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