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Only 23% can afford median house

October 12, 2003

The percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home was 23% in August, 5 percentage points less than the 28% reported for the same period a year ago, according to a report released last week by the California Assn. of Realtors.

The August number was down from July's 26%.

The minimum income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $404,870 in California in August was $93,490, which was based on a typical 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 5.66% and assuming a 20% down payment.

The minimum household income was up from $82,150 in August 2002, when the median price of a home was $334,270 and the prevailing interest rate was 6.38%.

At 60%, the High Desert was the most affordable region in the state, followed by Sacramento at 39%. The Santa Barbara region was the least affordable at 14%.

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