A San Diegan has to earn nearly double the county’s median income to afford a median-priced home here, says a study released this week by mortgage information company HSH.
The findings make San Diego the nation’s second-least-affordable city for buying a home behind San Francisco. The report says a person in San Diego would need to earn $98,534 a year to buy a $483,000 home, the county’s median price in the first quarter.
“It’s a very expensive part of the world to live in,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH. “It’s a matter of compromise and adjusting your expectations and looking for things that fit your budget.”
The median household income in the county for an individual is $50,900, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For its price calculation, HSH assumed a 20 percent down payment, 28 percent debt-to-income ratio, a 4.56 percent mortgage rate and included insurance costs and property taxes.
Gumbinger noted that the median price is the middle point of all homes sold, meaning that half of the transactions in the first quarter were below $483,000. Still, home prices rose 17 percent over the past year, which priced out the typical middle-class family of four that would want a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house.
“The thing that’s getting scary is you used to be able to buy for between $225,000 and $285,000,” said K.J. Koljonen, associate vice president of the nonprofit Community HousingWorks. “It’s almost not there anymore. The amount of houses that are at or under $250,000 has gone down by a ton.”
In April, the number of homes for sale for $250,000 or less in San Diego County was down 54 percent in the past year, the San Diego Association of Realtors reports.
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