Housing Affordability in Chautauqua County
How affordable are Chautauqua County's homes in comparison to the rest of the country?






The Housing Affordability Index is a metric used to gauge the affordability of housing. It considers a variety of factors including interest rates, home prices and family income to compute a percentage that compares the median* family income to the amount of income necessary to qualify for a mortgage on a median* priced home. 100 is the "break even" point and a higher number means greater affordability. (* - What is the difference between "median" and "average"? Click here for an explanation.)

A Housing Affordability Index of 100 would mean that a family earning the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median priced home. An index of 150 means they have 150% of the income necessary, and an index of 200 means they have twice the income necessary. Conversely, an index of 50 would mean they only have half the income necessary, indicating an area with expensive housing, a low median income, or both.

This affordability index can be computed nationwide, on a state by state basis, or even city by city. The National Association of Realtors® keeps tabs on the Housing Affordability Index for each market, and every month, I look forward to receiving the New York State Association of Realtors® report showing the current market conditions in Chautauqua County, including the affordability index. Something that struck me as I looked over the data this month is just how affordable our homes are here in Chautauqua County.

As of the time of this writing in November 2015, the year-to-date nationwide index is approximately 165 while Chautauqua County's year-to-date index is 430. Nationwide, a family earning the median income has approximately 165% of the income necessary to qualify for a mortgage on a median price home, however a family earning the median income here in Chautauqua County has 430% - that's over four times the necessary amount, and it means that homes in our local market are more than two and a half times more affordable than the average American home.

If you are renting and thinking about building equity in a home, considering a move to this area, or are simply looking for a change, the affordability of housing is just one more reason why Chautauqua County is an excellent place to purchase and own a home! Our market is currently blessed with a large inventory of homes for sale, giving you plenty of variety and making this an excellent time to buy.



Jon Steiger is a New York State Licensed Real Estate Broker and co-owner of Steiger Realty in Forestville, NY. For contact information and more articles like this one, please visit his real estate web page.



© 2015 by Jon Steiger, Licensed Real Estate Broker at Steiger Realty Cell: 716-673-5040
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