Despite a slight improvement from August, the percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home in September stood at 19 percent, still 5 percentage points lower than a year ago, according to a report released today by the California Association of Realtors. The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $465,540 in California in September was $107,880, based on an average effective mortgage interest rate of 5.7 percent and assuming a 20 percent down payment. This figure was up from $91,030 in September 2003, when the median price of a home was $384,690 and the prevailing interest rate was 5.94 percent. The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $186,600 in the U.S. in September 2004 was $43,240. At 42 percent...
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