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Fewer residents can afford a house

OW Staff Writer | 8/11/2017, midnight
The percentage of Los Angeles County residents who could afford to purchase a median-priced home dipped to 28 percent in ...

The percentage of Los Angeles County residents who could afford to purchase a median-priced home dipped to 28 percent in the second quarter of the year, down from 30 percent the same period a year ago, according to figures released this week by the California Association of Realtors.

According to CAR, the median price of a Los Angeles County home was $514,220 in the second quarter, meaning an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $2,580, including taxes and insurance. The minimum qualifying annual income for home buyers was estimated at $103,070.

The estimated monthly payment assumes a 20 percent downpayment and interest rate of 4.09 percent, according to CAR.

In Orange County, an estimated 21 percent of buyers could afford a median-priced $788,000 home, down slightly from 22 percent the same quarter last year, according to CAR. Buying an Orange County home would require an annual income of $157,950, with estimated monthly payments of $3,950.

Statewide, just 29 percent of would-be buyers could afford a median priced home of $553,260 in the second quarter, requiring a minimum qualifying income of $110,890. The monthly payment for such a median home would be $2,770, according to CAR. The statewide percentage of people who could afford a home was down from 31 percent in the second quarter of 2016.

CAR noted that home prices in the state have nearly doubled since affordability reached its highest level five years ago, meaning home buyers need twice the income to purchase a median priced home. In the first quarter of 2012, buyers needed a minimum annual income of just $56,320 to purchase a home priced at $279,190, according to CAR.