The numbers are in for the December 2017 Housing Affordability Index and First Street Real Estate would like to share the statistics according to the article published on Economists' Outlook on the National Association of Realtors website. 

In the article provided, The United States & Regional Incomes are compared from 2016 and 2017 with results showing housing affordability declined from a year ago by 2.3%, and the Midwest being the most affordable housing market in the region. 

At the national level, housing affordability is practically flat from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates increased to 4.22 percent this December, up 1.7 percent compared to 4.15 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in December moving the index down 2.3 percent from 163.8 to 160.1. The median sales price for a single-family home sold in December in the US was $247,900 up 5.7 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up seven basis points from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points) while median family incomes rose 4.1 percent.

  • Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in price at 8.6 percent. The Midwest had an increase of 7.5 percent while the Northeast had a gain of 6.7 percent. The South had the smallest incline in price of 5.8 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Midwest had the biggest decline of 4.4 percent. The West followed with a decline of 4.0 percent. The South had a decline of 1.0 while the Northeast had the smallest decline of 0.8 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in two of the four regions. The Northeast had the biggest gain of 3.5 percent followed by the Midwest with a gain of 1.3 percent. The West had a decline of 0.1 percent. The South had the biggest drop in affordability of 0.9 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 203.1. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 111.5. For comparison, the index was 161.7 in the South, and 177.5 in the Northeast.

Furthermore, with job growth and rising incomes the potential of homebuyers keeps increasing, however the affordability for homes is still higher than most potential homebuyer's income. The assumed percentage for a down payment is 20% according to The Housing Affordability Index.