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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

House Prices and Median Household Income

by Calculated Risk on 1/27/2021 12:24:00 PM

One of the metrics we'd like to follow is a ratio of house prices to incomes. Unfortunately most income data is released with a significantly lag, and there are always questions about which income data to use (the average total income is skewed by the income of a few people).

And for key measures of house prices - like Case-Shiller - we have indexes, not actually prices.

But we can construct a ratio of the house price indexes to some measure of income.

Last October I posted House Prices to National Average Wage Index.  Here is another measure - house prices to the Median Household income.

This graph uses the year end Case-Shiller house price index - and the nominal median household income through 2019 (from the Census Bureau).  2020 median income is estimated at a 5% gain.

House Prices and Median Household Income Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the ratio of house price indexes divided by the Median Household Income through 2020 (the HPI is first multiplied by 1000).

This uses the year end National Case-Shiller index since 1976 (December 2020 estimated).


House price appear elevated, but still well below the levels of the housing bubble.