The REAL News About Housing Affordability

Dated: 04/13/2017

Views: 138

The 'REAL' News about Housing Affordability | MyKCM

Some industry experts are claiming that the housing market may be headed for a slowdown as we proceed through 2017, based on rising home prices and a potential jump in mortgage interest rates. One of the data points they use is the Housing Affordability Index, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Here is how NAR defines the index:

“The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.”

Basically, a value of 100 means a family earning the median income earns enough to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home, based on the price and mortgage interest rates at the time. Anything above 100 means the family has more than enough to qualify.

The higher the index, the easier it is to afford a home.

Why the concern?

The index has been declining over the last several years as home values increased. Some are concerned that too many buyers could be priced out of the market.

But, wait a minute…

Though the index skyrocketed from 2009 through 2013, we must realize that during that time, the housing crisis left the market with an overabundance of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). All prices dropped dramatically and distressed properties sold at major discounts. Then, mortgage rates fell like a rock.

The market is recovering, and values are coming back nicely. That has caused the index to fall.

However, let’s remove the crisis years (shaded in gray) and look at the current index as compared to the index from 1990 – 2008:

The 'REAL' News about Housing Affordability | MyKCM

Though prices and rates appear to be increasing, we must realize that affordability is composed of three ingredients: home prices, interest rates, and income. And, incomes are finally rising.

ATTOM Data Solutions recently released their Q1 2017 U.S. Home Affordability Index. The report explained:

“Stronger wage growth is the silver lining in this report, outpacing home price growth in more than half of the markets for the first time since Q1 2012, when median home prices were still falling nationwide. If that pattern continues, it will help turn the tide in the eroding home affordability trend.”

Bottom Line

Compared to historic norms, it is still a great time to buy from an affordability standpoint.


Search homes for sale in Woodstock Ga....


Click here for all the results

Blog author image

Bonnie Lelak

Experience with regular home sales, short sales, foreclosures, HUD homes, no down payment program homes, investors who flip homes or buy rentals, commercial properties, land sales, lake front properti....

Want to Advertise on this Site?

Latest Blog Posts

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth In 2018

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate on average by 3.35% per year and to grow by 24.34% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home

Read More

The Benefits Of Homeownership Go Beyond The Financial

Homeownership is a major part of the American Dream. As evidence of that, 91% of Americans believe that owning a home is either essential (43%) or important (48%) to achieving

Read More

4 Reasons To Sell This Winter

Some Highlights:Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale which means that buyers are often competing with one another for the few listings that are available!Housing inventory

Read More

712000 Homes In The US Regained Equity In The Past 12 Months

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that “over the past 12 months, 712,000 borrowers moved into positive equity.” This is great news, as the share of

Read More