The percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home stood at 18 percent in July, unchanged from the previous month, but was 9 percentage points lower than July 2003, according to a report released today by the California Association of Realtors.

The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home of $463,540 in California in July was $109,590, based on an average effective mortgage interest rate of 5.93 percent and assuming a 20 percent down payment. This figure was up from $86,120 in July 2003–when the median price of a home was $381,940 and the prevailing interest rate was 5.39 percent–but fell from June 2004’s minimum household income of $111,690.

The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $191,300 in the U.S. in July 2004 was $45,230.

At 42 percent, the High Desert region was the most affordable region in the state, followed by the Sacramento and Central Valley regions at 26 percent. The San Diego region was the least affordable in the state at 10 percent, followed by the Orange County and Monterey regions at 11 percent.

Los Angeles-based C.A.R. is a state trade organization with more than 135,000 members.

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