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Housing Affordability Index (NAR)



• The affordability index for March fell to 166.7 from 174.4 in February.
• The affordability index is now firmly below its record high of 176.9 recorded in January.
• The affordability index is 30.8 points above its year ago levels.

Source: National Association of Realtors

NAR Housing Affordability Index
Mar 09 Feb 09 1 year ago
United States 166.7 174.4 135.9
% change -4.4 -1.4 22.7
Northeast 136.1 131.6 101.4
Midwest 210.9 232.0 190.6
South 182.6 185.0 146.8
West 116.6 127.9 95.4


Although the March affordability index fell 7.7 points in March, the level of the index remains exceedingly high compared to a year earlier. Affordability conditions have improved markedly both nationally and regionally over this past year. Historically low mortgage rates and a substantial drop in home values have made homes more affordable than in any other time since the National Association of Realtors has been reporting the index. Unfortunately, mounting job losses, shattered consumer confidence, tight credit conditions and households postponing home purchases due to falling home values are negating improved affordability conditions. Suffice it to say, households are better positioned to purchase homes today than they were two or three years ago.

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