Importance The article explores housing affordability criteria in Russia that most adequately reflect real possibilities of the major part of the population to buy housing to own, depending on the incomes. Objectives The purpose of the study is to offer a method to calculate the housing affordability index enabling to assess the possibility to buy an apartment to own by the general public. Methods The official statistical data of the Federal State Statistics Service, international agencies and statistical services serve as a methodological basis of the study. To perform the economic analysis of the information, we applied grouping of data, calculation of ratios, comparative analysis. Results Calculating the housing affordability index only on the basis of market value of the apartment and per capita income does not adequately assess the situation in Russia and its federal districts. We offer to include in the calculations the current costs that are required for living, based on consumer spending rather than minimum subsistence level. For young families that need housing improvements, we offer to adjust the housing affordability index by the amount of maternity capital. Conclusions If used, the proposed criteria will increase the housing affordability index 2–3 times, and the obtained data will show a real situation of housing availability in Russia.
Keywords: housing affordability index, real household earnings, market value, consumer spending, cost of living
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