AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), housing affordability is at an all-time high.

NAR’s housing affordability index measured 206.1 in January, up 16.4 points from the previous year.

The index is calculated by combining housing prices, household incomes and mortgage rates. A baseline index of 100 means that a household with the area’s median income matches the requirements needed to purchase a median-priced home with a 20 percent down payment.

NAR President Moe Veissi believes the high level of affordability with declining housing inventory could help stabilize the market in many parts of the United States.

“If access to credit improves,” he said, “we could see a much more meaningful increase in home sales and broader stabilization in home prices with modest gains in areas with stronger job growth.”

The Chicago-based trade organization began using the housing affordability index in 1970.