California households, with a median household income of $53,840, fall $70,480 short of the qualifying income needed to purchase a median-priced home in the state, according to the California Association of Realtors Homebuyer Income Gap Index report for the second quarter of 2005.

A median-priced home in California cost $530,430 in the second quarter, the association reported.

The 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 HIGI is calculated with the same assumptions used to generate the association’s monthly Housing Affordability Index: a 20 percent down payment and a monthly payment for principal, interest, taxes and insurance that is no more than 30 percent of a household’s income.

The Homebuyer Income Gap Index for California increased 28.3 percent during the second quarter of 2005 compared to the second quarter of 2004, when the gap stood at $54,920, the median household income was $52,630, and qualifying income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $461,280 was $107,550.

According to the report, potential home buyers in the Central Valley, with a median household income of $41,250, had the smallest income gap at $39,450, and needed a qualifying income of $80,700 to purchase a median-priced home at $344,330. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Bay Area had the highest gap in the state at $102,230 – potential home buyers in this region had a median household income of $68,140 but needed a qualifying income of $170,370 to purchase a median-priced home at $726,920.

The median price of a home in the Central Valley region increased about 27 percent from the second quarter of 2004 to the second-quarter of 2005, the association reported, while the income gap in qualifying to buy a home in the Central Valley increased about 73 percent.

The Realtor group is one of the largest trade organizations in the nation, with about 165,000 members.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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