Affordability Dips as Home Prices Reach All-Time High
September 15, 2020
From June to July, median sales price rose by 8.5%, more than double the 4.1% increase seen in family income levels, the National Association of REALTORS® reports. But mortgage rates that have fallen to all-time lows are helping to offset some of the rising costs.
As of July, all of the national and regional data in NAR’s affordability index was above 100, which means a family with a median income had more than the income required to afford a median-priced home. For the analysis, the income required to afford a mortgage is calculated as no more than 25% of a family’s income.
The most affordable region for housing in the U.S. in July was in the Midwest, with a median family income of $80,742, which is nearly more than double the qualifying income of $40,416. On the other hand, the least affordable region remained the West, which has a median family income of $88,022 and a qualifying income of $75,504, NAR’s index shows.
All four major regions of the U.S. saw housing affordability increase compared to a year ago. The Northeast saw the largest increase of 10%, followed by the Midwest with a 5.5% increase, the South at 4.2%, and the West at 2.3%.
Mortgage rates are down 74 basis points compared to a year ago. The median sales price for a single-family home sold in July was $307,800. Meanwhile, median family incomes increased by 4.1%.
“Housing Affordability Drops Modestly in July 2020 as Median Family Prices Reach All Time High,” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog (Sept. 14, 2020)
Updated: January 22, 2021