Thursday, April 07, 2005

C.A.R. reports California's Housing Affordability Index falls six points to 19 percent in February

LOS ANGELES (April 7) – The percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home stood at 19 percent in February, a 6 percentage-point decrease compared with the same period a year ago when the Index was at 25 percent (revised), according to a report released today by the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). The February Housing Affordability Index (HAI) improved 1 percentage point from January, when it stood at 18 percent.

C.A.R.’s monthly housing affordability index measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase a median-priced home in California. C.A.R. also reports housing affordability indexes for regions and select counties within the state. The index is the most fundamental measure of housing well-being in the state.

The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $471,620 in California in February was $109,380, based on an average effective mortgage interest rate of 5.71 percent and assuming a 20 percent downpayment. The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home was up from $91,050 in February 2004, when the median price of a home was $391,550 and the prevailing interest rate was 5.74 percent.

The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $191,000 in the U.S. in February 2005 was $44,300.

At 38 percent, the High Desert region was the most affordable C.A.R. region in the state, followed by the Sacramento region at 24 percent. The Santa Barbara region was the least affordable in the state at 8 percent, followed by the Northern Wine Country region at 9 percent.

C.A.R.'s March 2005 sales and median price report for the state and regions within the state will be released on April 25.

Leading the Way...® in California real estate for 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 160,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

C.A.R. HOUSING AFFORDABILITY INDEX *

REGION


Feb-05


Jan-05





Feb-04




California


19


18





25


r

California - Condos


27


27





34


r

United States


54


55





58


r

C.A.R. REGION
















Central Valley


23


23





34




High Desert


38


39





55




Los Angeles


17


17





22




Monterey Region


10


10





16




Northern California


19


20





27




Northern Wine Country


9


11





15




Orange County


11


12





17




Palm Sprgs/Lwr Desert


12


10





18


r

Riverside/SBernardino


17


18





32




Sacramento


24


24





36




San Diego


11


11





15




San Fran. Bay Area


13


13





19


r

San Luis Obispo


13


13





14




Santa Barbara County


8


7





16


r

Santa Clara


20


21





27




Ventura


n.a.


14





22




COUNTY
















Alameda


13


14





19


r

Contra Costa


10


10





10




Fresno


26


26





35




Marin


13


13





18




Merced


17


19





33




Riverside


16


15





27


r

San Bernardino


24


23





38




San Francisco


10


11





12




San Joaquin


17


17





29




San Mateo


14


15





18




Santa Cruz


12


12





17




Sonoma


10


11





16




Stanislaus


24


24





35




* -- percentage of California households that can afford to purchase a median-priced home
r – revised
Source: California Association of REALTORS®

Median Prices By Region - Current Month vs. Year Ago




Feb-05


Jan-05





Feb-04




Statewide
















Calif. (sf)


$471,620


$485,700


r


$391,550


r

Calif. (condo)


$384,710


$376,300





$316,520


r

C.A.R. REGION
















Central Valley


$313,960


$306,560





$245,990




High Desert


$257,320


$252,440





$183,200




Los Angeles


$473,550


$475,800





$390,100




Monterey Region


$693,660


$683,700





$515,780




Monterey County


$635,000


$620,000





$471,500




Santa Cruz County


$730,000


$715,000





$560,000




Northern California


$385,330


$372,880





$303,900




No. Wine Country


$591,320


$545,730





$450,360




Orange County


$663,600


$634,280





$569,760




P. Spgs/Lwr Desert


$362,120


$380,600





$289,170


r

Riverside/S. Bern.


$342,120


$338,780





$254,570




Sacramento


$351,700


$346,950





$277,300


r

San Diego


$580,860


$580,220





$479,540




San Francisco Bay


$677,850


$666,740





$597,080


r

San Luis Obispo


$496,430


$495,000





$444,190




S. Barbara County


$638,890


$680,000





$441,670


r

S. Barbara So. Coast


$1,200,000


$1,262,500





$945,000




N. S. Barbara County


$450,000


$443,750





$348,080


r

Santa Clara


$705,000


$664,000





$566,200




Ventura


na


$638,130





$528,650




na - not available
r - revised
Source: California Association of REALTORS®

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