SOURCE: CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R)

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

February 12, 2010 14:58 ET

C.A.R. Reports Entry-Level Housing Affordability Remained at 64 Percent in the Fourth Quarter of 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - February 12, 2010) -

Quick Facts:

  • C.A.R. First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index stood at 64 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with 61 percent (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2008.
  • The median price of an entry-level home in California was $257,940 in the fourth quarter of 2009.
  • The estimated monthly payment including taxes and insurance was $1,470 in the fourth quarter of 2009.
  • The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home in California in the fourth quarter of 2009 was $44,100.

The percentage of households that could afford to buy an entry-level home in California remained at 64 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with 61 percent (revised) for the same period a year ago, according to a report released today by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

C.A.R.'s First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index (FTB-HAI) measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase an entry-level home in California. C.A.R. also reports first-time buyer indexes for regions and select counties within the state. The Index is the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for first-time buyers in the state.

The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home at $257,940 in California in the fourth quarter of 2009 was $44,100, based on an adjustable interest rate of 4.5 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 $1,470 for the fourth quarter of 2009.

At $44,100, the minimum qualifying income was 4 percent lower than a year earlier when households needed $45,900 to qualify for a loan on an entry-level home. Home prices remained below peak levels, resulting in an improvement in housing affordability compared with the previous year.

At 84 percent, the High Desert region was the most affordable area in the state. The San Luis Obispo County region was the least affordable in the state at 48 percent, followed by the San Francisco Bay region and Santa Barbara area both at 50 percent. 

To view C.A.R.'s fourth quarter First Time Home Buyer Housing Affordability Index, please visit: http://www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases/q409affordability

Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 173,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    Mark Giberson
    (213) 739-8304
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