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CAR: Only one of three households could afford a home in Q4

CAR: Only one of three households could afford a home in Q4

By Ron Trujillo/

Higher wages coupled with slightly lower home prices helped the affordability rate to remain unchanged during the final three months of the year.

Less than one of every three households (31%) could afford the median-priced home in the state during the fourth quarter, the same as the third quarter – and slightly higher than the 30% in fourth-quarter 2016, according to the California Association of Realtors.

Homebuyers must earn at least $100,800 per year in order to make the monthly payment of $2,250, including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 3.91% interest rate. The average household income was $64,500 in 2015, the most recent information available, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

San Francisco is the least affordable – or the most expensive – county at 13%, with San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties at 15% and 17%, respectively.

The Central Valley boasts the three of the most affordable counties in the state, with Kings at 56% followed by Kern at 55%. San Bernardino County was the third most affordable at 54%, while Fresno County is at 50%.

Photo courtesy of the artists of Unsplash.

Bakersfield bound?

Bakersfield is the second most affordable city in the state, with an estimated 55% of its households able to buy the median-priced home in the community — $225,810. A household would need to earn at least $44,510 in order to qualify for the monthly payment of $1,110.

Bakersfield has been one of the hardest-hit regions in the state, as crude oil prices dipped two years ago, leading to layoffs at energy companies and throughout the region.

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