A growing number of households were able to afford an entry-level home in California in the third quarter, as recent declines in home prices and mortgage rates have brought housing into better alignment with incomes.

A growing number of households were able to afford an entry-level home in California in the third quarter, as recent declines in home prices and mortgage rates have brought housing into better alignment with incomes.

According to the California Association of Realtors, 53 percent of households statewide earned the minimum household income needed ($56,100) to purchase an entry-level California home at $287,760 in the third quarter, based on an adjustable interest rate of 5.91 percent and assuming a 10 percent down payment. The monthly payment including taxes and insurance was $1,870 for the third quarter.

A year ago, only 24 percent of households could afford such a purchase, when households needed $100,500 to qualify for a loan on an entry-level home.

The High Desert region was the most affordable area in the state, with 73 percent of households able to buy an entry-level home, followed by Sacramento County at 71 percent.

The San Francisco Bay Area region was the least affordable in the state at 35 percent, followed by the San Luis Obispo County region at 38 percent.

Housing Affordability Index Entry-Level Price Monthly Payment Including Taxes & Insurance Minimum Qualifying Income
California 53 $287,760 $1,870 $56,100
California – Condos 57 $260,070 $1,690 $50,700
United States 68 $170,430 $1,110 $33,300
C.A.R. REGION
Central Valley n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
High Desert 73 $143,900 $930 $27,900
Los Angeles County 42 $332,680 $2,160 $64,800
Monterey Region 51 $313,510 $2,040 $61,200
Northern California 51 $278,430 $1,810 $54,300
Northern Wine Country 49 $327,850 $2,130 $63,900
Orange County 43 $439,660 $2,860 $85,800
Palm Sprgs/Lwr Desert 59 $187,270 $1,220 $36,600
Riverside/SBernardino 66 $193,130 $1,250 $37,500
Sacramento County 71 $180,170 $1,170 $35,100
San Diego County 51 $320,710 $2,080 $62,400
San Francisco Bay 35 $523,310 $3,400 $102,000
San Luis Obispo County 38 $356,120 $2,310 $69,300
Santa Barbara Area 45 $335,000 $2,180 $65,400
Santa Clara County 39 $552,500 $3,590 $107,700
Southern California 52 $289,650 $1,880 $56,400
Ventura County 50 $392,310 $2,550 $76,500
COUNTY
Alameda 39 $445,860 $2,900 $86,860
Contra Costa 30 $598,640 $3,890 $116,630
Fresno 65 $161,240 $1,050 $31,410
Marin 24 $805,050 $5,230 $156,840
Merced 75 $120,200 $780 $23,420
Riverside 66 $195,150 $1,270 $38,020
San Bernardino 68 $178,470 $1,160 $34,770
San Francisco 26 $645,050 $4,190 $125,670
San Joaquin n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
San Mateo 29 $661,210 $4,290 $128,820
Santa Cruz 33 $489,180 $3,180 $95,300
Sonoma 52 $323,280 $2,100 $62,980
Stanislaus n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

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