Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Monthly Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is still very high thanks to lower mortgage rates in spite of higher home prices. What is affordability like in your market?

  • In spite of reduced affordability from last month and last year’s near-record levels, the median income U.S. family earns almost double what is needed to purchase the median priced home, so affordability remains high.
  • Housing affordability is down for the month of March in the U.S. as rising incomes were not enough to completely offset higher mortgage rates and home prices from February to March.
  • From one year ago, affordability is down as lower mortgage rates and higher incomes have not completely offset home price gains.
  • By region, affordability is down from one month ago in all regions except the Midwest, where there was no change. From one year ago, affordability is higher in the Northeast and Midwest and lower in the South and West as huge home price gains overwhelmed slightly lower mortgage rates.
  • Check out 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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