Housing Affordability for Homeowners
What does this measure?
The ratio of the median home value divided by the median household income, adjusted for inflation.
Why is this important?
This ratio provides a rough estimate of the affordability of homes in a community. A ratio less than 2 or 3 is considered affordable.
How is the region performing?
In 2010-14, the housing affordability ratio in the region was 3.06, higher than the statewide (excluding NYC) ratio and national ratio (2.52 and 2.58 respectively). There was only minor variation among the counties of the Mid-Hudson Valley, with Orange's ratio at 3.01, Ulster at 3.07 and Dutchess's ratio at 3.12. Homes in the region became significantly less affordable from 2000 to 2005-09, with the ratio rising from 2.16 to 3.70. The current lower ratio indicates that housing has become more affordable than it was in 2005-09, but is still far less affordable than it was in 2000. This trend was borne out for each of the counties, as well as for the state and the nation.
Affordability ratios were particularly high in Washington (4.54), the Village of Fishkill (4.92), and Kiryas Joel (6.65), while the local municipalities with the most affordable homes were Highland Falls (2.34) and Maybrook (2.01).
Notes about the data
Multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's 2009-13 American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Regional ratios were calculated by weighting county medians based on share of population. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.