The affordability of housing is at a record high in the United States, rising to levels unseen since the National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index started keeping record in 1970, the National Association of Realtors reported March 6, 2012.
In January, the NAR Housing Affordability Index rose to 206.1. The number represents the relationship between median home prices, median family income and average mortgage interest rates. The higher the number the more affordable homes are to the median household.
A score of 100 represents the point in which a median-income household can qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single family home. The score of 206.1 found in January means that a typical family has more than double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home. This is the first time the housing affordability index has broken the 200 mark.