Housing Affordability

  1. Overall Housing Affordability Index
  2. First-Time Buyer Housing Affordability Index
SourceUniversity of Washington: Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies
Data TableHousing Affordability
ExplanationThe 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 127.0 for the first quarter of 2019, a decrease in housing affordability for the fourth 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).
  • Has become slightly more affordable than Lewis County.
  • 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 59.9 in 2019, even less affordable than in 2006 when affordability was previously at its lowest of 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.

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