California households had a median household income of $53,240 in fourth-quarter 2004, which was $56,070 short of the $109,320 qualifying income needed to purchase a median-priced home in the state, the California Association of Realtors reported today.

The statewide median home price in fourth-quarter 2004 was $470,920, while the statewide median price for condominiums was $380,560, according to the association’s Homebuyer Income Gap Index.

This quarterly index is an 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 41.6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2004 compared to the fourth quarter of 2003, when the gap stood at $39,610, the median household income was $51,860, and qualifying income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $390,250 was $91,460.

According to the report, potential homebuyers in the Central Valley, with a median household income of $40,840, had the smallest income gap at $28,730, and needed qualifying income of $69,560 to purchase a median-priced home at $299,670.

The San Francisco Bay Area had the highest gap in the state at $84,690, where potential homebuyers had a median household income of $67,750 but needed qualifying income of $152,440 to purchase a median-priced home at $656,690.

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