The National Association of Realtors released the latest housing affordability data on Monday.
The affordability index measures the household income needed to qualify for a traditional mortgage on a median-priced single family home. So it's looking at a mortgage with a 20 percent down payment and a monthly payment below 25 percent of income at the currently effective rate on conventional mortgages.
Because the index is above a score of 100, this indicates that the "median income is higher than needed to qualify for a mortgage" (Carney, CNBC). We are at the lowest level of affordability since July 2009 because of the rising interest rates and home prices, while wages increased at a much slower pace.
According to the NAR, this shouldn't be dire news. A score of 157.8 officially indicates that a household earning the median income has 57.8 percent more income than needed to get a mortgage on a median priced home.
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