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Measure of the typical U.S. family's ability to buy a home, published by the National Association of Realtors. When the Index measures 100, a family earning the median income has exactly the amount needed to purchase a median-priced, previously owned home, using conventional financing and a 20% down payment. For example, an index of 140.9 means that half the families in the nation have at least 140.9% if the income needed to qualify for the purchase of a home with a median price of, say, $107,400. some experts maintain that every one-point increase rate results in 300,000 fewer home sales.