Tough time to buy a Riverside County home: Prices just too high

A two-story home. Photo from Pixabay.

The number of Riverside County households able to afford a median-priced home fell in the third quarter of this year, in line with a statewide trend, a real estate tracking firm reported Thursday.

Roughly 38 percent of the county’s residents could qualify to buy a single-family dwelling between July 1 and Sept. 30, down from 39 percent in the prior quarter, according to the California Association of Realtors.

CAR’s Housing Affordability Index also showed a year-over-year drop, with the number of qualifying homebuyers at 42 percent in the third quarter of 2016.

In calculating its affordability index, CAR used a 30-year fixed mortgage with a 4.16 percent annual interest rate as a benchmark. After factoring in taxes, insurance and a 20 percent down-payment, a local household would need an annual income of $78,070 to afford a property, making average monthly payments of $1,950, according to the association’s estimates.

In the most recent quarter, the Riverside County median home price was $387,000, compared to $380,000 in the second quarter.

When San Bernardino County numbers are added into the mix, 43 percent of the inland region’s households are able to afford a home — unchanged from the previous quarter, CAR data showed.

Statewide, using CAR’s criteria, only 28 percent of prospective homebuyers qualified to purchase a property at the third quarter median price of $555,680. That compared to 29 percent in the second quarter and 31 percent in the third quarter of 2016, when the median price stood at $515,940.

According to CAR, statewide housing affordability peaked at 56 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

–City News Service