Home for sale
A renovated home for sale in Point Loma. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Homes in California became slightly more affordable in the fourth quarter of 2021 thanks to rising incomes and slowing price growth, the state’s Realtors announced Thursday.

The California Association of Realtors said the percentage of home buyers who could afford a median-priced single-family home in California inched up to 25% from 24% in the fourth quarter. However, that’s way down from 56% just a decade ago.

Affordability in San Diego County was a little better than the state average at 26%, and homes in nearby Riverside County were far more affordable at 39%.

Statewide a minimum annual income of $148,000 was needed to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced $797,470 existing single-family home in the fourth quarter. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed loan would be $3,700, assuming a 20 percent down payment. 

“Compared to the previous quarter, housing affordability in the fourth quarter of 2021 declined in 19 counties, improved in 19 counties and remained unchanged in 13 counties,” the Realtors said.

Both the most affordable and least affordable counties were in rural northern California. Lassen County was the most affordable at 63%, while Mono County was the least at 13%.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.