The number of people who could afford to purchase median-priced homes in the Los Angeles region fell sharply in July from the year-earlier period, the California Association of Realtors said. Affordability in July was down one percentage point from June.
The monthly California Housing Affordability Index, a measure of home affordability based on home prices, income and mortgage rates and other housing costs, showed that 14 percent of Los Angeles households could afford to purchase a median-priced home in July, down from 17 percent in July 2004.
The index is largely dependent on median home prices, which rose to $543,890 in July from $451,550 one year earlier, according to the CAR. In June, the median home price in L.A. County was $518,280.
Statewide, 16 percent of the population could afford to buy a home, down from 19 percent in the year-ago period and unchanged from June. The median home price statewide in July was $540,900, versus $461,760 a year earlier and down from $543,120 in June.
The areas with the highest levels of affordability were the High Desert, which includes Palmdale and Lancaster, with 30 percent of households qualifying, and Fresno, at 21 percent. The least affordable markets were the Northern Wine Country and Santa Barbara and Sonoma counties, where only 7 percent of households could afford to buy a median-priced home. Santa Barbara County’s South Coast area had the most expensive homes, where the median price was over $1.3 million in July.
Nationwide, the median home price was $218,000 in July.