Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

November 2017 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates increased to 4.19 percent this November, up 9.3 percent compared to 3.82 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in November moving the index down 5.6 percent from 169.1 to 159.7. The median sales price for a single family home sold in November in the US was $248,800 up 5.4 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 37 basis points from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points) while median family incomes rose 4.0 percent.


  • Regionally, the Midwest recorded the biggest increase in price at 8.9 percent. The West had an increase of 7.7 percent while the South had a gain of 4.3 percent. The Northeast had the smallest incline in price of 3.3 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Midwest had the biggest decline of 8.8 percent. The West followed with a decline of 7.2 percent. The South had a decline of 5.3 while the Northeast had the smallest decline of 2.6 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in three of the four regions. The Northeast being the only region with a gain of 0.4 percent. Midwest had the biggest decline of 3.1 percent followed by the South, which had a dip of 1.6 percent. The South had a decline of 1.6 percent with the West having the smallest drop in affordability of 0.4 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 198.4. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 111.9. For comparison, the index was 163.4 in the South, and 171.5 in the Northeast.


  • Mortgage applications are currently up 7.8 percent. Inventory conditions are very tight and that is not healthy for affordability. Less inventory will cause rising home prices, which tend to benefit the homeowner and not the potential home buyer.
  • 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 (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.