While homes are much more affordable than in recent years, Whatcom County’s home affordability index continues to lag behind the state average.
In the first quarter of 2011, Whatcom’s index level was 128.9, down slightly from 130.6 from the fourth quarter, according to the Washington Center for Real Estate Research.
The affordability index measures the ability of a typical family to make payments on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent downpayment and a 30-year mortgage. An index score of 100 means there is a balance between the ability to pay and the cost. The lower the score under 100, the less affordable housing is.