Sixty-two percent of Sonoma County households could have qualified to buy an entry-level home during the first three months of the year.
A buyer would have needed a minimum household income of $51,660 in order to buy that starter home, which the California Association of Realtors pegged at a price of $306,290. The group set the price of an entry-level home at about 85 percent of the county’s median sales price.
The percentage of potential households was little changed from a year earlier, when 63 percent could afford to make such a purchase.
For California, 66 percent of households could afford a starter home at an estimated cost of $246,270. That compares with 69 percent who could purchase such a home in the first quarter of 2009.
The typical state buyer needed a minimum annual income of $41,540. That was $3,910 greater than a year earlier, when the minimum qualifying household income would have been $37,630.
For Sonoma County, the estimated monthly house payment, including taxes and insurance, would have been $1,720. That assumed a 10-percent down payment and a mortgage with an adjustable interest rate of 4.33 percent.
Fifty-three percent of Bay Area households could qualify to purchase a starter home, compared to 62 percent a year earlier.
The association reported that the High Desert region was the state’s most affordable area, with 84 percent of households able to purchase a starter home. San Luis Obispo County was the least affordable in the state at 52 percent.
— Robert Digitale