The Housing Affordability Index (HAI) tracks the ability of a middle income family to carry the mortgage payments on a median-price home. An index of 100 reflects a balance between the family’s ability to pay and the mortgage payment. Higher indices indicate that housing is more affordable.
Thurston County’s HAI was 123.5 for the first quarter of 2020, a decrease in housing affordability for the fifth year in a row.
Remains more affordable than the counties associated with the Seattle/Tacoma/Everett metropolitan area (King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish).
Has become slightly more affordable than Lewis County over the last two years.
Remains less affordable than adjacent counties to the west (Grays Harbor and Mason).
Since 2014, the HAI for first-time homebuyers in Thurston County has been considered unaffordable, and affordability continues to decrease. Thurston County’s HAI for first-time buyers was 90.4 in 2020 - a significant improvement over 2019 when the HAI was just 59.9 for first-time buyers.
First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index
The first-time buyer index assumes the purchaser’s income is 70% of the median household income. Homes purchased by first-time buyers are 85% of area’s median price. All loans are assumed to be 30 year loans with 25% of income used for principal and interest payments. The first-time buyer index assumes 10% down.