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 139.4 for the first quarter of 2018, a decrease in housing affordability for the third year in a row.
Thurston County remains:
More affordable than the counties associated with the Seattle/Tacoma/Everett metropolitan area (King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish).
Less affordable than adjacent counties to the west and south (Grays Harbor, Lewis, 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 67.7 in 2018, the least affordable since 2006 when the HAI was 65.7.
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.
Sustainable Thurston Report Card
The Sustainable Thurston Report Card uses the Housing Affordability Index to measure how well the Thurston region is doing at increasing housing affordability. No targets have been established for housing affordability.