DataMarkets & Economy

Housing affordability in California weakens through second quarter

Only one out of three households in California can afford median home prices, CAR says
  • Median home price for single-family homes in California was $516,220 through the second quarter of 2016.
  • Only 31 percent of California households could afford to purchase a home at the current median home price.
  • The minimum annual income to afford median home prices reached $101,217 -- the first time since the recession that minimum income was six figures.

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Even with low interest rates, rising home prices in California are exceeding residents' means to purchase, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR), which says only 31 percent of the state's population could afford to purchase an existing median-priced home in the second quarter. The percentage fell from 34 percent during the first quarter of 2016. However, on a year-over-year basis, the amount of people who can afford a median-priced home was up from 30 percent in the second quarter of 2015. CAR reported that this is the 13th consecutive quarter where the numbers are below 40 percent. California's lowest affordability percentage hit in the middle of 2008, when only 29 percent of the population could afford median-priced homes. The peak in recent years was in 2012, when it reached 56 percent. Affordability in California by metros Rates and figures are based on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 3.85 percent interest rate with 20 percent down payment. ...