July 2018 Housing Affordability Index
At the national level, housing affordability is up from last month but down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.75 percent this July, up 14.7 percent compared to 4.14 percent a year ago.
- Housing affordability declined from a year ago in July moving the index down 8.2 percent from 151.2 to 138.8. The median sales price for a single family home sold in July in the US was $272,300 up 5.2 percent from a year ago.
- Nationally, mortgage rates were up 61 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points).
- Regionally, the Northeast recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 7.0 percent. The West had an increase of 5.3 percent while the South had a gain of 3.1 percent. The Midwest had the smallest growth in price of 2.5 percent.
- Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Northeast had the biggest drop in affordability of 10.3 percent. The West had a decline of 8.3 percent followed by the South that fell 6.8 percent. The Midwest had the smallest drop of 2.2 percent.
- On a monthly basis, affordability is up from last month in three of the four regions. The Midwest had biggest gain of 7.9 percent. The West had an incline of 2.6 percent followed by the South with an increase of 2.1 percent. The Northeast had the only dip in affordability of 1.1 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 101.2. For comparison, the index was 143.0 in the South, and 142.2 in the Northeast.
- Mortgage applications are currently down 1.8 percent and mortgage rates are continuing to rise. Credit availability has declined which is a sign that there is constriction on lending standards. Job creation is up as well as new homes sales. As inventory increases, more buyers are likely to come into the housing market. Home prices are up 4.6 percent while median family incomes are only growing 3.2 percent.
- 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.