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Central Valley remains most affordable area to buy a home

Fresno and four other Central Valley counties remain the most affordable areas in California to buy a home.
Fresno and four other Central Valley counties remain the most affordable areas in California to buy a home. Fresno Bee file

Five Central Valley counties and one in southern California were the most affordable areas in the state to buy a home during the second quarter of 2016, according to a report released Wednesday.

Kings County took the top honor where 56 percent of the potential homebuyers could afford to purchase the county’s median-priced house at $212,660, according to the California Association of Realtors. A buyer would have to make at least $41,697 annually to afford the home.

That’s a slight decrease from the first quarter of the year when 58 percent could afford to purchase and down from the same time a year ago when affordability was at 62 percent.

Despite the decline, Kings County still remained at the top alongside San Bernardino County where affordability is also at 56 percent. Kern County follows at 54 percent. Half of all buyers in Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties could afford to buy a home. In Fresno, a buyer would have to make $46,081 a year to buy a $235,020 house.

Affordability levels hit highs in the Valley during the first quarter of 2012 when 72 percent of Fresno’s buyers could afford to buy a home.

On the flip side, only 13 percent of buyers could afford a home in San Francisco where the median home price is $1.3 million. San Mateo (14 percent) and Santa Cruz (17 percent), where the median-home price is $1.3 million and $799,000 respectively, round out the top three least affordable places to buy.

BoNhia Lee: 559-441-6495, @bonhialee

Housing Affordability Index

County

Q2 2016

Q1 2016

Q2 2015

Fresno

50

52

50

Kings

56

58

62

Madera

50

50

50

Merced

52

55

55

Tulare

50

52

54

Los Angeles

30

31

30

San Francisco

13

13

10

San Luis Obispo

27

26

28

Sacramento

45

48

47

California

31

34

30

United States

57

60

57

Percentage of homebuyers who can afford to buy a home. Source: California Association of Realtors

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