When the median price of a home in Orange County jumped in November to $176,888, the number of county households which could afford the typical home dropped to only 26%.
In October, 30% of the county's residents had been able to afford the median price of $168,762, according to a monthly survey by the California Assn. of Realtors.
The survey does not cover sales of new homes.
The trade association said an Orange County household needed an annual income of $55,197 to afford the $1,380 monthly payments on the median-priced home.
Affording a house was also a problem--though less severe--throughout the state.
The trade association said 31% of California households could afford a home in November, unchanged since August. The median price dropped by $1,743, to $143,043, but higher mortgage rates canceled out the drop in price.