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California home affordability up from ’08

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Home affordability in the Golden State held steady in the fourth quarter of 2009 at 64 percent, according to a report by the California Association of Realtors. That means 64 percent of California households could afford to buy an entry-level home, the same percentage as in the third quarter of 2009 and above the revised 61 percent figure for fourth quarter of 2008. The median price for an entry-level home in the state was $257,940; the estimated monthly payment including taxes and insurance was $1,470; and the minimum household income needed to purchase a home at that payment was $44,100, the report said. The association assumes first-time homebuyers purchase a home at 85 percent of the overall median price for existing homes with a 10 percent downpayment and an adjustable 4.5 percent interest rate. The state was, predictably, still less affordable than the nation as a whole. The U.S. home affordability index, 77 percent, went up slightly from 76 percent in third-quarter ...