According to the latest National Association of Realtors’® Housing Affordability Index (HAI) report, U.S. housing affordability improved for the second consecutive month in August. Despite rising to 151.3 in August from a low of 146.5 in June 2021, the HAI is still well below its August 2020 level of 165.8.
Contributing to the increase in affordability are low mortgage rates, which have fallen for back-to-back months, and the seasonal slowing of home price growth. In August, monthly mortgage payments fell by -1.1%.
The most affordable region was the Midwest with an index value of 196.8, followed by the South with an index value of 160.6 and the Northeast at 149.1. The least affordable region was the West with a housing index value of 114.9.
The HAI did note that monthly mortgage payments rose to $1,210 in August 2021 from $1,062 a year prior, a 13.9% increase. Nationally this meant that the annual mortgage payment as a percentage of income increase to 16.5% from 15.1%.
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Housing affordability improves for second straight month