The percentage of first-time buyers able to afford a median-priced home in California stood at 24% in the third quarter, down from 28% a year earlier, according to the California Association of Realtors.CAR’s First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index also indicates that the minimum household income needed by first-time buyers to purchase a home at $478,010 stood at $98,890 in the third quarter, based on an adjustable interest rate of 6.58% and assuming a 10% downpayment. First-time buyers typically purchase a home equal to 85% of the prevailing median price, CAR said. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance, totaled $3,300 in the third quarter. At 39%, the High Desert region was the most affordable region in the state, followed by the Sacramento region, at 38%. Santa Barbara was the least affordable region, at 14%, followed by Monterey, at 17%. CAR can be found on the Web at http://www.car.org.

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