The percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home fell to 14 percent in August, down 4 percentage points from a year ago, according to a report released by the California Association of Realtors today.

The association said California’s Housing Affordability Index is at its lowest on record since 1989.

The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $568,890 in California in August was $133,800, based on an average effective mortgage interest rate of 5.87 percent and assuming a 20 percent down payment.

The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home was up from $110,980 in August 2004, when the median price of a home was $473,520 and the prevailing interest rate was 5.83 percent.

By contrast, the minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $220,000 in the U.S. in August 2005 was $51,740.

At 28 percent, the High Desert region was the most affordable in the state, followed by the Sacramento region at 19 percent. The Santa Barbara region was the least affordable in the state at 6 percent.

Los Angeles-based C.A.R. comprises more than 170,000 members.

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