this index assumes a 20% down payment and a 25% ratio of principle and interest payment to income.  So if you gross $4,000 per month, then your monthly payment should not EXCEED $1,000 per month.  The rise in loan rates from a year ago mean roughly $12 extra in a monthly mortgage payment from a month ago and $79 more than a year ago.  While incomes continue to rise, they are not keeping pace with home price gains & mortgage rate increases from a year ago.  This slight easing of affordability is welcomed for potential buyers, but uncertainly remains.  The Federal Reserve has committed to pushing rates higher as needed to stanch inflation as the economy improves.  The Fed has a tricky balancing act ahead!!