A report released today by the California Association of Realtors found that California households with a median income of $52,940 were $55,370 short of the $108,310 qualifying income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $462,510 in the third quarter.

The association’s Homebuyer Income Gap Index is a quarterly analysis of the difference between the median household income and the qualifying income needed to purchase a median-priced, single-family home for the state and for select regions within the state.

The Homebuyer Income Gap Index for California increased 47.9 percent during the third quarter of 2004 compared to the third quarter of 2003, when the gap stood at $37,440, the median household income was $51,630, and qualifying income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $385,720 was $89,070.

According to the report, potential home buyers in the Central Valley, with a median household income of $40,640, had the smallest income gap at $27,030, and needed qualifying income of $67,670 to purchase a median-priced home at $288,960.

The San Francisco Bay Area had the highest gap in the state at $82,910, where potential home buyers had a median household income of $68,430 but needed qualifying income of $151,340 to purchase a median-priced home at $646,280.

Los Angeles-based C.A.R. is a state trade organization with more than 155,000 members.

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