The percentage of first-time buyers in California able to afford an entry-level home stood at 25% in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared with 24% in the third quarter and 27% for the same period a year ago, according to the California Association of Realtors.The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home at $477,400 in California was $96,760 in the fourth quarter, based on an adjustable interest rate of 6.36% and assuming a 10% downpayment, according to CAR's First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index. (First-time buyers typically purchase a home equal to 85% of the prevailing median price.) The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance, stood at $3,230. At 41%, the High Desert and Sacramento regions were the most affordable regions in the state, and Santa Barbara and Los Angeles were the least affordable, at 19%. CAR can be found on the Web at http://www.car.org.

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