Housing affordability in California drops as prices increase

A pending home sale in Palo Alto.
(Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

California homes are getting less affordable as property values rise, a real estate group says, offsetting the benefit to home shoppers from low mortgage interest rates.

The California Assn. of Realtors estimated that 49% of homebuyers in the third quarter could afford a median-priced house in California, a decline from 51% last quarter.

Quiz: How much do you know about California’s economy?

The group estimated that those buying a house needed to earn a minimum annual income of $65,810 to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced house in the state, which the group estimated at $339,860 at the end of the third quarter.

A monthly payment for this home on a fixed-rate 30-year mortgage with a 20% down payment would be $1,650 including taxes and insurance. The group assumed a 3.72% interest rate.

Most counties in Southern California experienced lower affordability. Affordability in Los Angeles fell to 42% of buyers from 49% of buyers in the previous quarter.


Report: Deals on foreclosures dwindling

Mortgage rates remain near record lows

Sellers’ return to the market could be slow, surveys indicate