CA Housing Affordability Index Requirements Explained

May 21, 2012 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

There is a California Association of Realtors that is a century-old institution with 155,000 members. They promote the professionalism of those working in the real estate industry. It is only natural that CA housing affordability is one of their major concerns. They oversee the industry throughout California from their headquarters in Los Angeles.

CA Housing Affordability Index Requirements Explained

The report was that housing affordability was at a record high in the first quarter of 2012. It rose to 56 percent. It is a direct result of record-low interest rates and the fact that property prices are stabilized. This is strong indication that the improvement to date will continue into 2012 and beyond. Real estate statistics are tracked in a variety of ways.

One of these, used in California, is the Housing Affordability Index. This measurement, the HAI, tracks the percentage of the population in all households that can currently afford to buy a modest home. The term modest, in this case refers to the median price of a single family house in the state of California.

Required qualifications for being considered able to afford a home in this price range, are, an annual income of $55,688 or higher, wanting to buy a $276,040 house with a 30-year mortgage, having a fixed rate. Monthly payment would be $1,392 based on having paid 20 percent down, and an interest rate of 4.16 percent

Near San Francisco, the index reported a rise or leveling except Contra Costa County, where it dropped by a percentage point. San Bernardino County was the most affordable at 78 percent, while San Francisco County was the least affordable. Only 29 percent of all households could afford to buy a median-priced property.

The computations on income are based on last year’s fourth quarter income levels.

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