April 2018 Housing Affordability Index
At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.66 percent this April, up 13.4 percent compared to 4.11 percent a year ago.
- Housing affordability declined from a year ago in April moving the index down 8.8 percent from 159.8 to 145.8. The median sales price for a single family home sold in April in the US was $259,900 up 5.5 percent from a year ago.
- Nationally, mortgage rates were up 55 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points), while median family incomes rose 2.8 percent.
- Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 6.4 percent. The South had an increase of 5.0 percent while the Midwest had a gain of 4.1 percent. The Northeast had the smallest incline in price of 2.5 percent.
- Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The West had the biggest drop in affordability of 9.4 percent. The South and the Midwest both had a decline of 8.0 percent. The Northeast had the smallest drop of 5.4 percent.
- On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in all four regions. The West had a decline of 0.8 percent followed by the Northeast with a dip of 2.0 percent. The South had a drop of 2.6 percent followed by the Midwest, which had the biggest; dip in affordability of 6.0 percent.
- Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 183.6. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 104.6. For comparison, the index was 147.9 in the South, and 160.2 in the Northeast.
- Mortgage applications are currently up 4.1 percent. Consumer confidence remains strong. Home prices are up 5.5 percent while median family incomes are only growing 2.8 percent. New home construction is being held back by increased material cost and labor shortage.
- 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.