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Outcome: Promote affordable home ownership opportunities

About this indicator

The indicator analyzes the "affordability gap" for median-income households to purchase a typical single family home or condominium. The home purchase affordability gap is defined as the difference between the price that the average household can afford to pay for a home and the median price of housing on the market.

Key findings

  • Home purchase affordability gap for the average King County homebuyer: $80,100 (2009)

Tables and graphs 

Last updated December 2010


Technical notes

Median home price for 1970, 1980 and 1990 uses home value (single-family homes) as a proxy for sales price as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. Home sales data from 2000 to present is taken from the King County Department of Assessments. Median household income is taken from the U.S. Census and American Community Survey.

From 2000 to 2007, a 5% down payment is assumed. For 2008 to 2009, a 10% down payment is assumed. In 2009, a 5.23% interest is assumed. This bulletin further assumes housing is considered affordable when no more than 30% of monthly income is expended on housing costs, which includes both a mortgage payment and other housing costs such as utilities.

Graphs and tables

Click images to enlarge

Home purchase affordability gap for the average King County household

Graph of affordability gap for single family vs. condo

Table of the affordability gap for single family vs. condo