How much annual income do you need to afford a median-priced house in Fresno County?
About $49,000. That would have been enough to get you in the door of a $238,000 home in the first three months of this year, according to the California Association of Realtors.
By California standards, that’s pretty cheap.
In San Mateo County, you’d need to earn more than five times that – about $267,000 – to afford a home that goes for the median price there of $1.3 million. That’s on par with San Francisco and Marin counties, where the monthly payment for a median-priced home was likely to range from $6,160 to $6,680. And that’s with 20 percent down.
Unsurprisingly, only about 13 percent to 18 percent of home buyers in those three counties could afford that median-priced home.
Statewide, the California Association of Realtors’ affordability index finds that about a third of buyers (32 percent) could afford to purchase the median-priced home in the first quarter of this year. That’s slightly better than the fourth quarter of last year, but a little worse than the first quarter of 2016. The association noted that this is the 16th consecutive quarter that the affordability index statewide has been below 40 percent and is near the mid-2008 low level of 29 percent.
Home buyers needed to earn at least $102,050 to qualify to purchase a home at the statewide median price of $496,620, the association said. Assuming the purchaser put down 20 percent and got a 30-year mortgage with a fixed interest rate of 4.36 percent, the monthly payment – including taxes and insurance – would run about $2,550.
By contrast, in the central San Joaquin Valley, roughly half of the buyers could afford the median-priced home, which ranged from $212,000 to $238,000 in the first quarter, the association reports. The annual income needed to buy a home in the Valley ranged from about $43,600 to about $49,000.