The income needed to buy a median-priced home in the Bay Area has more than doubled since 2012.
That striking bit of news comes from a second-quarter report by the California Association of Realtors. It shows that a minimum income of $90,370 was required five years ago to purchase a median-priced single-family home of $447,970 in the nine-county Bay Area. Today, in the wake of substantial job growth, particularly in the tech industry, the minimum necessary income has climbed to $179,390 while the median price has ratcheted up to $895,000 for the region.
But while that $179,390 might get you something in Alameda County (where the median home price is $880,000) or Solano County ($412,000), it’s not likely to get you anything in San Francisco ($1,450,000), San Mateo County ($1,469,000) or Santa Clara County ($1,183,440).
The state’s least affordable counties were San Francisco (where only 12 percent of buyers could afford a median-priced single-family home), San Mateo (14 percent) and Santa Barbara (16 percent), followed by Marin, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz (all 17 percent). In Alameda County, 19 percent of buyers could afford a median-priced home, compared with 31 percent in Contra Costa County.
The report shows that the housing crisis has become a statewide phenomenon, with affordability hard to come by anywhere.
California buyers needed a minimum annual income of $110,890 to qualify for a single-family home priced at $553,260, the statewide median in the second quarter of 2017. Compare that to the first quarter of 2012, when a minimum income of $56,320 was needed to purchase a home priced at $279,190, the median at the time.
The monthly payment on a median-priced, single family home in California in the second quarter — including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan — was $2,770, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.09 percent.
The second-quarter report adds that 29 percent of California households could afford to buy a $553,260 median-priced home — down from 32 percent in the first quarter. The percentage of buyers able to swing a deal for condos and townhomes was higher — 38 percent — as those homes have a lower median price of $443,400.
The state’s most affordable counties were Tehama (57 percent of buyers there could afford a median-priced single-family home), Kern (54 percent), Sutter (53 percent) and Kings and Tulare (52 percent).