The percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home stood at 19 percent in December, unchanged from the previous two months but down 4 percentage points from 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 $474,480 in California in December was $110,530, based on an average effective mortgage interest rate of 5.76 percent and assuming a 20 percent down payment. This figure was up from $94,070 in December 2003, when the median price of a home was $401,720 and the prevailing interest rate was 5.82 percent. By contrast, the minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $188,900 in the United States in December 2004 was $44,0...
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