The Housing Affordability Index (HAI) tracks the ability of a middle-income family to afford 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 97 for the first quarter of 2022, a decrease in housing affordability for the seventh year in a row. The median-priced home is now unaffordable for middle-income families in Thurston County looking to buy a home. The HAI for King, Lewis, and Pierce counties is even lower, meaning middle-income households in those counties will have an even harder time finding housing they can afford to buy.
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