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FHFA debuts new housing affordability metric

September 24, 2018 / Jeremiah Jensen

The Federal Housing Finance Agency just debuted a new housing affordability metric that aims to build upon the data already provided by other similar metrics, and what the FHFA found on the metric’s maiden voyage isn’t pretty. In the working paper detailing the new measure, the FHFA lays out how its new Housing Affordability Estimates improve upon the established housing affordability indices (i.e. National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index). According to the paper, the new index increases accuracy by including a detailed breakdown of affordability by income-level; the use of real data on income, debt and funds available for down payments; and the incorporation of a future looking component that factors in things that impact affordability after origination like changes to property taxes and insurance all of which yield an index with more granular insight on the state of national affordability.