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43% of SD's households can afford a median-priced home

The percentage of San Diego homebuyers who could afford to purchase a median-price, existing single-family home remained unchanged in the fourth quarter from the third quarter, the California Association of Realtors reported.

Housing affordability in San Diego fell to 43 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 46 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

San Diego homebuyers need to earn a minimum annual income of $76,820 to qualify for the purchase of a $405,360 median-priced single family home in the fourth quarter of 2012. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $1,920.

Higher home prices offset lower interest rates to reduce housing affordability in California during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to CAR.

The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California decreased to 48 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, down from 49 percent in third-quarter 2012 and from 55 percent in fourth-quarter 2011, according to CAR’s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI).

CAR’s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California. Affordability indices for regions and select counties within the state. The Index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for home buyers in the state.

Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $66,940 to qualify for the purchase of a $353,190 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2012. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $1,670, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 3.49 percent. The effective composite interest rate in third-quarter 2012 was 3.72 percent and 4.30 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Housing affordability results were mixed at the regional level, with affordability improving from the third quarter of 2012 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, Fresno, and Kings counties. However, homes in San Francisco, Solano, Riverside, San Bernardino, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Madera, Sacramento, and Tulare counties were less affordable during fourth quarter 2012.

At an index of 76 percent, San Bernardino and Kings counties were the most affordable counties of the state. Conversely, San Francisco County was the least affordable, with only 22 percent of the region’s households able to purchase the county’s median-priced home.

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