It’s getting harder to afford a house in Orange County

Home for sale in Dana Point. Click photo for details.

Source: Orange County Register

The California Association of Realtor’s measure of what it took to buy a local home in the fourth quarter shows three of four Southern California counties with falling affordability. This index tracks what share of households can afford a median-priced, single-family house.

  • Los Angeles County: It was the only local county with improving affordability, as 28% of households could afford to buy. At year’s end, an L.A. household must earn at least $99,230 to afford the typical monthly house payment of $2,480 on the $503,400 median-priced home.
  • Orange County: The least affordable county in the region with 22% Households must earn $146,880 to comfortably pay house payments of $3,670 on the $745,160 median-priced house.
  • Riverside County: Affordability fell to 41%. Households must earn $70,250 to comfortably pay the house payment of $1,760 on the $356,380 median-priced home.
  • San Bernardino County: This is the region’s affordability hotspot at 54%. Households must earn $49,500 to comfortably pay house payments of $1,240 on the $251,100 median-priced home.

Statewide affordability in the fourth quarter was 31%, the same as the previous quarter but up a notch from 30 percent in 2015’s fourth quarter.

Least affordable counties? San Francisco (13%), San Mateo (15%) and Santa Cruz (17%.)