U.S. housing affordability remained at a record low in July as high mortgage rates and prices kept home ownership out of reach for many Americans. The National Association of Realtors® housing affordability index was unchanged at 87.8 in July, matching the lowest level in data back to 1989. A level of 100 means a family with the median income has enough income to qualify for a mortgage at the median home price. The typical family spent 28.5% of their income on the principal and interest of their mortgage payment each month, also matching an all-time high, according to the report released Friday. Qualifying income for a mortgage, based on a 20% down payment, was a record $104,496 in July. "Higher mortgage rates continued to harm affordability despite modestly lower median home prices," Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said in an email. "Consequently, the Federal Reserve is unintentionally widening the social divide by preventing middle-income renters from ownership opportunities."

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