This article announces NAHB’s “priced out estimates” for 2019, showing how higher home prices and interest rates affect housing affordability. The 2019 US estimates indicate that a $1,000 increase in the median new home price would price 127,560 U.S. households out of the market. In other words, 127,560 households would qualify for the new home mortgage before the change, but not afterwards. Similarly, 25 basis points added to the current mortgage rate would price out around 1 million households. The article also includes priced out estimates for individual states and more than 300 metropolitan areas.

The Priced Out Methodology and Data

NAHB Priced Out model uses the ability to qualify a mortgage to measure housing affordability, because most home buyers finance their new home purchase with conventional loans, and because convenient underwriting standards for these loans exist. The standard NAHB adopts for its priced-out estimates is that the sum of the mortgage payment (including the principal amount, loan interest, property tax, homeowners’ property and private mortgage insurance premiums (PITI), is no more than 28 percent of monthly gross household income.

As a result the number of households that qualify for mortgages for a certain priced home depends on the household income distribution in an area and the mortgage interest rate at that time. The most recent detailed household income distributions for all states and metro areas is from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). NAHB adjusts the income distributions to reflect the income and population changes that may happen from 2017 to 2019. The income distribution is adjusted for inflation using the 2018 median family income published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for all states and metro areas, and then extrapolated it into 2019. The number of households in 2019 is projected by the growth rate of households from 2016 to 2017.

Other assumptions of the Priced Out calculation is a 10% down payment, and a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, at an interest rate of 4.85%. For a loan with this down payment, private mortgage insurance is required by lenders and also included as part of PITI. The typical private mortgage insurance annual premium is 73 basis points?1, based on the standard assumption of national median credit score of 738?2 and 10% down payment and 30-year fixed mortgage rate. Effective local property tax rates are calculated using data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) summary files. Homeowner’s insurance rates are constructed from the 2016 ACS Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS)?3. For the US as a whole, the property tax is $12 per $1,000 of property value and the homeowner insurance is $4 per $1,000 property value.

Under these assumptions, 32.7 million of the 122.5 million US households could afford to buy a new median priced home at $355,183 in 2019. A $1,000 home price increase thus will price 127,560 households out of the market for this home. These are the households that can qualify for a mortgage before a $1,000 increase but not afterwards.

State and Local Estimates

The number of priced out households varies across both states and metropolitan areas, largely affected by the sizes of local population and the affordability of new homes. The table above presents the projected 2019 median new home price and the amount of income needed to qualify the mortgage, and the number of households could be priced out if price goes up by $1,000. Among all the states, Texas registered the largest number of households priced out of the market by a $1,000 increase in the median-priced home in the state (11,152), followed by California (9,897), and Ohio (7,341).

Interest Rates

NAHB 2019 priced-out estimates also present how interest rates affect the number of households would be priced out of the new home market. If mortgage interest rate goes up, the monthly mortgage payments will increase as well and therefore higher household income thresholds to qualify a mortgage loan. When interest rates goes up from 2.85% to 3.10%, around 1.26 million households could no longer afford buying median-priced new homes. An increase from 4.85% to 5.10% could price approximately 1 million households out of the market.

1 Private mortgage insurance premium (PMI) is obtained from the PMI Cost Calculator (https://www.hsh.com/calc-pmionly.html)


2 Median credit score information is shown in the article “Four ways today’s high home prices affect the larger economy” October 2018 Urban Institute https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/four-ways-todays-high-home-prices-affect-larger-economy


3 Producing metro level estimates from the ACS PUMS involves aggregating Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) level data according to the latest definitions of metropolitan areas. Due to complexity of these procedures and since metro level insurance rates tend to remain stable over time, NAHB revises these estimates only periodically.