Affordability Dwindled to Decade-Low in California

August 10, 2018
Book on table inside home
Photo: Unsplash/Paul Hanaoka

This June, California hit a new affordability low, as the share of buyers who can afford an average-priced home fell to 26 percent, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors.

The median single-family home price in the Golden State grew to $597,000 from April to June 2018. In Sacramento County, home to the state capital, 41 percent of homebuyers can afford a median-priced home ($374,000), down from its 74 percent peak in 2012. The Sacramento Bee reports that a buyer would have to earn $79,000 in annual income to afford the median-priced home. In the notoriously expensive Bay Area, only 18 percent of prospective buyers can afford the median-priced home, valued at $1 million.

Recent sales data for June show that housing price escalation has begun to level off in the state, as slightly fewer homes sold. But even as prices level, rising mortgage rates continue to have an impact on the average person’s ability to buy, real estate watchers say. “The lackluster spring homebuying season could be a sign of waning buyer interest as endlessly rising home prices and buyer fatigue adversely affected pent-up demand,” Realtor association President Steve White said in a news statement last month.

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