Fast Facts about California Real Estate – 64% First-time Buyer Affordability

Front door keyBelow are interesting facts about home prices and home buying in California.  Take a look at the Affordability Index.  C.A.R.’s First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index (FTB-HAI) measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase an entry-level home in California. C.A.R. also reports first-time buyer indexes for regions and select counties within the state. The Index is the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for first-time buyers in the state.

You will see that California’s FTB-HAI is at 64%.  Presently Orange County is at 51%.  We went from 18% in the third quarter of 2002 up to 56% at the beginning of 2009.  That is when the market turned around.  By summer it went down to 53% and 51% by the third quarter.  If you haven’t purchased a home yet, the good news is that you can still go buy at 2003 affordability levels.  Currently affordability has begun to decrease about 5% per 1/2 year.  Buying now will put you ahead of the game.

 Calif. median home price – October 09: $297,500 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. highest median home price by C.A.R. region October 09: Santa Barbara So. Coast $970,000 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. lowest median home price by C.A.R. region October 09: High Desert $118,580 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. First-time Buyer Affordability Index – Third Quarter 2009: 64 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
Mortgage rates – week ending 12/24/09 30-yr. fixed: 5.05 Fees/points: 0.7% 15-yr. fixed: 4.45% Fees/points: 0.6% 1-yr. adjustable: 4.38% Fees/points: 0.6% (Source: Freddie Mac) 

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