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SD housing affordability rose in 4Q of '13

San Diego housing affordability increased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2013, but was down 35 percent from the same period in 2012, according to the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

The percentage of homebuyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in San Diego was 28 percent, up from 27 percent in the third quarter of 2013 but down from 43 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

San Diego homebuyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $98,610 to qualify for the purchase of a $476,790 median-priced, existing single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The monthly payment -- including taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan -- would be $2,470, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.43 percent.

The effective composite interest rate in third-quarter 2013 was 4.36 percent and 3.50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Statewide, as home price gains eased back toward the end of 2013, California’s housing affordability held steady in the fourth quarter of 2013, following six consecutive quarters of declines.

The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California was unchanged from the third quarter of 2013 at 32 percent, but was down from 48 percent in fourth-quarter 2012, 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.

Homebuyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $89,240 to qualify for the purchase of a $431,510 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $2,230, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.43 percent.

The median home price was $352,450 in fourth-quarter 2012, and an annual income of $66,860 was needed to purchase a home at that price.

California housing affordability hit a record high of 56 percent in first quarter of 2012 but has steadily declined since then, as a lack of housing supply and high demand drove up home prices sharply and significantly reduced affordability.

At the county level, housing affordability was mixed, with affordability mostly improving or unchanged in most counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, except Sonoma County, which decreased.

Southern California, Riverside and San Bernardino counties experienced a drop in affordability, as home prices have recovered significantly.

At an index of 67 percent, Madera County was the most affordable county of the state, while San Mateo County was the least affordable at 16 percent.

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