Some 33 percent of households in the state were able to afford their first home in the last three months of the year, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. That’s up from 25 percent in the same three months of 2006. The trade group for real estate agents calculates affordability based on the minimum household income required to make a 10 percent down payment and secure an adjustable interest rate loan at 6.21 percent.
MAKING SENSE OF THE STORY FOR CONSUMERS
• As the median home price declines, many potential home buyers who had previously believed an entry-level home was out of reach may now find themselves in a position to buy.
• The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during December 2007 was $475,460, a 16.5 percent decrease from the revised $569,350 median for December 2006.
• Prospective buyers for the most part need not worry about the bidding wars that drove up home prices during the housing boom.
• First-time home buyers needed to earn an annual income of $82,200 to buy an entry-level home in California in the fourth quarter of 2007, down 15 percent from the $96,600 annual income needed to buy during the last three months of 2006.