At the national level, housing affordability is down from a year ago as rates are slightly higher and brisk home price growth continues to outpace median family incomes.

Housing affordability declined from a year ago in January pushing the index from 182.8 to 171.0. The median sales price for a single family home sold in January in the US was $215,000, up 8.3 percent from a year ago.

  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 8 basis points from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points) while incomes rose approximately 2.3 percent. The increase in mortgage rates from one year ago costs the median home buyer $8 per month on principal and interest payments at the current home price while rising home prices require an additional $63 per month for a total increase of $71 in monthly principal and interest.
  • Income growth means the median family earns $126 more per month than January 2015 and while this is more than the increase in housing costs each month, it means that 56 percent of the additional income would need to be devoted to housing, whereas typically a homeowner spends 25 to 30 percent of income on housing.

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