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California’s real estate affordability worsens

Builders group blames state, local governments

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California's housing affordability crisis continued to worsen in the third quarter of 2005, according to a report released Thursday, prompting the California Building Industry Association to urge state and local officials to remove barriers to new-home production. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, which analyzes affordability for 161 metro areas across the nation, found that – as usual – California's 24 metro areas were at the bottom of the list. The respected national survey of housing affordability, which analyzes what percentage of homes for sale in a metro area are affordable to households earning the local median income, found that 18 of the 20 least-affordable housing markets were located in California, including the bottom nine. In the state's most affordable metro area – Butte County – only 25 percent of area households could afford to buy the median-priced home. "Once again, it's been documented that Cali...