The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home at $224,180 in California in the second quarter of 2009 was $39,930, based on an adjustable interest rate of 4.92 percent and assuming a 10 percent down payment. First-time buyers typically purchase a home equal to 85 percent of the prevailing median price. The monthly payment including taxes and insurance was $1,330 for the second quarter of 2009.
At $39,930, the minimum qualifying income was 34 percent lower than a year earlier when households needed $60,460 to qualify for a loan on an entry-level home. Recent decreases in home prices and mortgage rates have brought affordability into better alignment with income levels of the typical California households, where the median household income is $61,030.
The First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index declined 2 percentage points in the second quarter of this year compared with the first quarter of 2009, due to a 6.4 percent increase in the price of an entry-level home.
At 86 percent, the High Desert region was the most affordable area in the state. The San Luis Obispo County region was the least affordable in the state at 50 percent, followed by the Orange County region at 53 percent.