The percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home sank to 16 percent in June, a 2 percentage-point decrease compared to the same period a year ago, according to a report released today by the California Association of Realtors.

The June housing affordability index was unchanged from May, when it also stood at 16 percent.

The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $542,720 in California in June was $125,870, based on an average effective mortgage interest rate of 5.71 percent and assuming a 20 percent down payment. This income figure was up from $111,420 in June 2004, when the median price of a home was $468,050 and the prevailing interest rate was 6.01 percent.

By contrast, the minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $219,000 in the United States in June was $50,790.

At 32 percent, the High Desert region was the most affordable in the state, followed by the Sacramento region at 21 percent. The Santa Barbara and Northern Wine Country regions were the least affordable in the state at 7 percent.

Los Angeles-based C.A.R. is a state trade association with more than 170,000 members.


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