California’s housing affordability level has plummeted to its lowest level in a decade, according to data released by the California Association of Realtors (CAR
The percentage of California homebuyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in the state dropped from 31 percent in the first quarter to 26 in the second quarter; one year ago, the level was at 29 percent. The second quarter marked the 21st consecutive quarter that CAR’s Housing Affordability Index has been below 40 percent; the index peaked in the second quarter of 2012 at 56 percent. CAR added that homebuyers would need to show a minimum annual income of $126,490 in order to qualify for the purchase of a $596,730 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the second quarter.
The California counties that recorded 10-year lows in housing affordability were Alameda, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma. The most affordable counties in California during the second quarter, according to CAR’s index, were Lassen (64 percent), Kern (53 percent), Madera (52 percent), Tehama (51 percent) and Kings (50 percent). The least affordable were Santa Cruz (12 percent), San Francisco, San Mateo, and Mono (all at 14 percent), and Alameda and Santa Clara (both at 16 percent).