Housing Affordability

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Maine's better-than-average housing affordability has declined since 2015.

Unfavorable movement since the last available data

Benchmark: Maine’s housing affordability index will reach and maintain a level around 1.0 through 2030.

Overview Fig. A

Overview

Housing is a significant portion of household budgets, and housing costs reflect everything from the supply of housing stock, to public policies regarding planning and new construction, to lending practices and interest rates. Regions with affordable housing are better able to attract and retain workers. Affordable housing also has broad positive impacts on health and childhood development, which benefit individuals and communities alike.

The housing affordability index compares rental and homeownership costs with median incomes, weighting for the proportions of owner and renter households. A rating of 1.0 or higher indicates affordability.

Housing is more affordable in Maine than elsewhere in the United States or the Northeast, but after improving from 2007 to 2015, housing affordability in Maine has declined. Preliminary data suggests it dipped further in 2020, likely due to rising rents and home prices. In 2020, homeownership costs met or exceeded the affordability threshold in just six of Maine’s 16 counties, and only one county (Franklin) had affordable rental housing.

Fig. A

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Housing Affordability Index

MaineHousing