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Composite housing affordability index in the U.S. 2000-2019

The composite Housing Affordability Index value in the United States fell sharply to 162.9 in 2019 – its lowest value since 2008. The index value has declined for four successive years but remains above the historical norm of 128.

Key factors that drive real estate market

Three main factors can affect the power of house-buying consumers: income, house prices, and mortgage rates. When incomes increase, consumer power also increases. The median household income in the United States has exceeded 60,000 U.S. dollars for three consecutive years since 2016, some of the highest incomes recorded in recent years. When mortgage rates or house prices rise, housing affordability reduces. The sales price of existing single-family homes in the United States has increased year-on-year since 2011 and reached 261,600 U.S. dollars in 2018.

What does the Housing Affordability Index mean?

The Housing Affordability Index uses data provided by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It measures whether or not a family earning the national median income is able to afford the monthly mortgage payments on a median-priced existing single-family home. An index value of 100 means that a family has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a home. The higher the index value, the more affordable a house is to a family.

Composite housing affordability index in the United States from 2000 to 2019

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Release date



United States

Survey time period

2000 to 2019

Supplementary notes

The composite affordability index is the ratio of median family income to qualifying income. Values over 100 indicate that the typical (median) family has more than sufficient income to purchase the median-priced home.

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Statistics on "Housing market in the United States"

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