And at the same time, mortgage rates have increased dramatically over the past year.
So the index is a reflection of a few indicators that the economy is doing well, plus the countervailing force of incomes that haven't quite kept up. It's important to note, though, that the NAR's index is still in positive territory: The 100 marker means that the median household can qualify for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage on the median-priced home, with a 20 percent down payment. So at the moment, the typical household makes 160 percent of what it needs to afford the typical mortgage.
It's not the same for everyone, though: You're worse off in the West, and better off in the Midwest, where the median home can still be had for $169,000.