Only 32 percent of California households could afford to purchase the $496,620 median-priced Golden State home in the first quarter of 2017, according to a report issued Monday by the Los Angeles-based California Association of Realtors.
That marked the 16th consecutive quarter that the index has been below 40 percent and is near the mid-2008 low level of 29 percent.
In this year’s first quarter, CAR said a minimum annual income of $102,050 was needed to make monthly payments of $2,550 – including principal, interest and taxes – on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 4.36 percent interest rate for a median-priced home in the state.
In the first quarter of 2016, CAR said the affordability index stood at 34 percent, and the median home price was $465,280. At that time, an annual income of $92,570 was needed to make monthly payments of $2,310.
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By comparison, California’s housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, a time when median home prices were at a post-recession low.
Prospective homebuyers saw a better situation in Sacramento County in this year’s first quarter.
CAR said 46 percent of households could afford to purchase a median-priced home of $319,720 in Sacramento County. The association said that would require monthly payments of $1,640 and minimum qualifying income of $65,700.
San Francisco County ranked as the state’s toughest market to start the year. CAR said only 13 percent could afford the $1.3 million median, with minimum qualifying annual income of $267,130.
The association said 40 percent of California homebuyers were able to purchase the $414,940 median-priced condo or townhome in the state. An annual income of $85,270 was required to make a monthly payment of $2,130.