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State housing affordability goes up slightly

Housing affordability in California improved slightly during the first quarter of this year, according to data released May 9.

Seventeen percent of the state’s households could afford a median-price home – $814,280 – during the first three months of 2024, a 15 percent increase compared with the last quarter of 2023 but a 20 percent decline year-over-year, the California Association of Realtors reported.

That estimate assumes an annual income of at least $208,400, enough to make $5,210 monthly payments. It takes into account principal, interest and taxes and is based on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 6.86 percent interest.

The month-over-month increase was attributed to a slight drop in mortgage rates, which led to a decline in home prices.

Twenty-four percent of the state’s home buyers were able to purchase the $655,000 median-priced condominium or townhome. That required yearly earnings of at least $167,600 to make a monthly payments of $4,190.

In the Inland Empire, 21 percent of all households could afford a median-priced home – $579,540 – during the first quarter, down one percent from the fourth quarter of 2023 and down three percent year-over-year.

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