California housing affordability improves in Q3

The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California rose to 52 percent in the third quarter of 2011, up from 51 percent in second-quarter 2011 and was up from 46 percent in the third quarter of 2010, according to California Association of Realtors, (C.A.R.) ‘s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI).
Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $61,530 to qualify for the purchase of a $292,120 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the third quarter of 2011. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance, would be $1,540, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.63 percent. The effective composite interest rate in second-quarter 2011 was 4.85 percent and 4.78 percent in the third quarter of 2010.
Regionally, housing affordability rose in most counties in the San Francisco Bay Area but was down in Los Angeles County and Fresno County. At 77 percent, San Bernardino County was the most affordable, while San Mateo County was the least affordable, with only 25 percent of households able to purchase the county’s median-priced home.