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December 5, 2006 > Realtors cite Q3 drop in home affordability

Realtors cite Q3 drop in home affordability

San Jose Business Journal, November 27_The percentage of first-time buyers in California able to afford a median-priced home stood at 24 percent in the third quarter of 2006, compared with 28 percent for the same period a year ago.

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) released its First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index, which measures the percentage of first-time buyer households that can afford to purchase a home in California.

The report showed the index at 27 percent in Santa Clara County, compared to the county's ranking at 33 in the same period last year and 26 in the second quarter.
Other Bay Area counties showing drops include: San Mateo, 20 percent from 24 percent; Santa Cruz, 18 percent from 21 percent; Alameda, 24 percent from 27 percent; Contra Costa, 27 percent from 30 percent and San Francisco, 17 percent from 21 percent.
The Monterey region was the second least affordable CAR region in the state with a 17 percent affordability index, compared to 23 percent in the year-ago period and 18 percent in the second quarter. Santa Barbara is the least affordable, at 14 percent from 18 percent last year.

At 39 percent, the High Desert region was the most affordable C.A.R. region in the state, followed by the Sacramento region at 38 percent.

The minimum household income first-time buyers needed to purchase a home at $478,710 in California in the third quarter of 2006 was $98,890, based on an adjustable interest rate of 6.58 percent and assuming a 10 percent down payment. First-time buyers typically purchase a home equal to 85 percent of the prevailing median price. The monthly payment including taxes and insurance was $3,300 for the third quarter of 2006.

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