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San Diego’s Housing Affordability Rate Rises

Above: A sold sign is posted in front of a home at a new housing development.

— The percentage of households that could afford to buy an entry-level home in San Diego County rose to 61 percent in the first quarter of 2009, compared to 59 percent in the previous quarter and 43 percent for the same period a year ago.

The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home at $274,700 in San Diego County in the 2009 first quarter was $49,110, based on an adjustable interest rate of 4.96 percent and assuming a 10 percent down payment. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance, was $1,540, according to CAR.

Statewide, the index -- which CAR calls "the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for first-time buyers in the state" -- stood at 69 percent, compared with 46 percent for the same period in 2008.

The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home at $213,040 in California in the first quarter of the year was $38,090, and the monthly payment was $1,270.

At $38,090, the statewide minimum qualifying income was 41 percent lower than a year earlier, when households needed $65,030 to qualify for a loan on an entry-level home, according to CAR.

At 83 percent, the High Desert region was the most affordable area in the state. The San Luis Obispo County region was the least affordable at 49 percent, followed by Orange County at 56 percent.

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