State

Valley homes are the most affordable in California

Home affordability has set a record in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

Families can afford a higher percentage of homes in Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties than in any other region in California. And nearby Madera is the most affordable county in the state, data released today show.

In Stanislaus, for example, median-income families could afford 83.6 percent of the homes sold during April, May and June.

That’s an amazing change from 2005, when the typical Stanislaus family could afford only 3 percent of the homes sold.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index statistics demonstrate how the housing boom-then-bust cycle has altered the ability of regular folks to attain the American dream.

While the foreclosure crisis and plummeting prices have hurt existing homeowners, they’ve created more opportunities for first-time buyers.

The median-priced home in Stanislaus this spring sold for $138,000, while the county’s median-income family earned $59,600 per year.Nationwide 72.3 percent of homes sold this spring were affordable to median-income families, which was down just slightly from earlier this year.

American families earned a median $64,000, and homes sold for a median $177,000 this spring.

While national affordability rates declined a bit, they continued to rise and set records throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

In Merced, 84.3 percent of homes were affordable. Merced families earned $50,400, and homes sold for $110,000.

In San Joaquin, 80.7 percent of homes were affordable. San Joaquin families earned $63,600, and homes sold for $150,000.

Madera replaced Stanislaus as the most affordable California county this spring. Families there could afford 84.4 percent of homes.

The state’s least affordable county was San Francisco, where median-income families only could afford 26.9 percent of the homes. Families there earned $96,800, and homes sold for $580,000.

America’s most affordable region was Kokomo, Ind., where 97.5 percent of homes were affordable. Families there earned $61,800, and homes sold for $79,000.

For detailed tables and historic data, go to www.nahb.org/hoi .

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