Housing Affordability

  1. Overall Housing Affordability Index
  2. First-Time Buyer Housing Affordability Index

Data Table

Explanation

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.

Source

University of Washington: Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies