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 117.1 for the first quarter of 2021, a decrease in housing affordability for the sixth 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).
Remains slightly more affordable than Lewis County.
Remains less affordable than adjacent counties to the west (Grays Harbor and Mason).
2013 was the last year buying a home in Thurston County was considered affordable for first-time homebuyers.
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.
University of Washington: Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies