ARCADIA – According to the Arcadia Association of REALTORS®, California’s housing affordability rose to its highest level in fourth-quarter 2011, matching a record high set in 2009, thanks to lower home prices and record-low interest rates. This information was obtained from reports furnished by the HYPERLINK “http://www.car.org/” CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).
The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California rose to 55 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 52 percent in third-quarter 2011 and from 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to C.A.R.’s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI). The index was the highest since C.A.R. began tracking this statistic in 1988, and equaled a high set in first-quarter 2009.
C.A.R.’s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California. C.A.R. also reports affordability indices for regions and select counties within the state. The Index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for home buyers in the state.
Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $57,750 to qualify for the purchase of a $282,350 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2011. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $1,440, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.31 percent. The effective composite interest rate in third-quarter 2011 was 4.63 percent and 4.62 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.
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