The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California fell to 49% in the third quarter, down from 51% in the second quarter and down from 51% a year ago, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR).
CAR reports that every southern California county experienced lower affordability than the previous quarter because of higher home prices, while affordability improved or was stable in most San Francisco Bay Area counties. San Bernardino County and Solano counties were the most affordable counties of the state, according to CAR, while San Mateo County was the least affordable, with only 24% of households able to purchase the county's median-priced home.
CAR adds that California home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $65,810 to qualify for the purchase of a $339,860 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the third quarter. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $1,650, assuming a 20% down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 3.72%. The effective composite interest rate in the second quarter of this year was 3.92% and 4.63% in the third quarter of 2011.