Written by The Business Journal Staff
The American home-owning dream has become more difficult in the Golden State as a new study shows the percentage of home buyers able to afford a median priced home continues to decrease.
In all but one Central Valley county, the percentage of prospective buyers able to afford the median home price decreased from both the previous quarter and the corresponding quarter from last year.
In Fresno County, 46% of homebuyers could afford the median home price in Q1 2021, down from 48% in Q4 2020 and 52% in Q1 2020. The median home price was $340,000. A family would need at least $62,000 in annual income to qualify for a loan and the average monthly payment would be $1,550, including taxes and insurance.
Madera shared the same percentages as Fresno County, save that 49% of homebuyers could afford the median-priced home in Q4 2020. The median price there was $349,000 with $63,600 needed to qualify. The average payment would have been $1,590.
In Tulare County 47% of homebuyers qualified, down from 49% in Q4 2020 and 53% in Q1 2020. The median home price was $300,000. A family needed $54,800 to qualify and $1,370 was the average monthly payment.
Kings County was the only one to climb slightly quarter-to-quarter. Percentage of qualifying families in Q1 2021 was 58%, up from 57% in Q4 2020. This is still down year-over-year when 61% of families could have qualified. The median-priced home was $282,500 with $51,600 in income needed to qualify. Kings County is the second most affordable county in the state, following Lassen County in the north.
The drop-off was more severe statewide. The percentage of homebuyers with the financials to pay for a median-priced, existing single-family home dropped to 27% from 35% year-over-year. In 2012, that figure was 56%.