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Affordability returns to California real estate

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The housing market in California gave a boost to first-time homebuyers, as more households in the state could afford an entry-level house in the second quarter compared to the same quarter last year, according to the latest affordability index released by the California Association of Realtors. The Realtor group's First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index stood at 67 percent in the second quarter this year, up from 49 percent from the same time last year and down slightly from 69 percent in first-quarter 2009, according to a report released by California Association of Realtors. The index measures the percentage of households that can afford to buy an entry-level home in California. CAR estimated that households with a minimum income of $39,930 was required to purchase a median-priced entry-level home (at a cost of $224,180) in California during the second quarter, based on an adjustable interest rate of 4.92 percent and assuming a 10 percent down payment. The income lev...