The scheduled second quarter release of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), which measures housing affordability in more than 200 metropolitan areas across the nation, will be delayed for three months because key government data used to calculate the index is no longer available.
The HOI is produced quarterly, tracking the share of homes sold that are affordable to families earning the area’s median income. In the first quarter of 2019, the HOI reached a near 10-year low of 61.4% due to a deepening housing affordability crisis that continues to hold back potential home buyers.
The HOI is calculated by using inputs from various sources: home price data from CoreLogic; median family income from the Department of Housing and Urban Development; interest rate data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA); and real estate taxes and insurance data from the American Community Survey.
In the second quarter of 2019, the FHFA announced the discontinuation of the monthly interest rate survey (MIRS) that produced the interest rate data used in the HOI calculations.
As a result of the loss of this critical input, NAHB will delay the release of the HOI for the second quarter of 2019 in order to find an acceptable replacement for the FHFA data on interest rates. We expect to be able to produce and release results for both the second and third quarter on the scheduled third quarter release date on Nov. 7, 2019.