Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Latest Housing Affordability Index Data Release

At the national level, housing affordability is down for the month of April due to an increase in home prices while incomes and mortgage rates remain flat.

  • Housing affordability is down for the month of April as the median price for a single family home in the U.S. increased. The median single-family home price is $201,100, up 4.7 % from a year ago, but price gains are showing signs of slowing down.
  • Mortgage rates are up 70 basis points (one percentage point equals 100 basis points) from last year. Nationally, affordability is down from 187.0 in April 2013 to 167.8 in April 2014.
  • Income levels are up 2.3% from last year. Adjustments in lending practices could provide more opportunities for borrowers to find affordable housing. New home construction could help low inventory levels and slow price growth which may make buying more attractive than renting.
  • By region, affordability is up slightly from one month ago in the Northeast but down in the other three regions. The Midwest had the biggest drop in affordability. From one year ago, affordability is down in all regions. The West saw the biggest decline in affordability as a result of having the largest price gain at 8.7 %.
  • Interest rates are still historically low and confident consumers can still lock in a low mortgage rate while they offset increases in home prices.
  • 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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