NAHB/Wells Fargo Debut New Cost of Housing Index

The new quarterly Cost of Housing Index (CHI) highlights the burden that housing costs represent for middle and low-income families. The CHI revealed, in its inaugural release for the first quarter of 2024, that a typical family in the United States must spend 38% of its income to cover the mortgage payment on a median priced new single-family home. This is while low-income families, defined as those earning only 50% of median income, would have to spend 77% of their earnings to pay for the same new home.

According to Eye On Housing, The figures track closely for the purchase of existing homes in the U.S. as well. A typical family would have to pay 36% of its income for a median-priced existing home, while a low-income family would need to pay 71% of its earnings to make the same mortgage payment.

CHI results in the first quarter are based on a national median new home price of $420,800 and median income of $97,800. The corresponding price for an existing home is $389,400.

Additionally, CHI breaks down the percentage of a family’s income needed to make a mortgage payment on an existing home in 176 metropolitan areas based on the local median home price and median income. Percentages are also calculated for low-income families in these markets.

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