San Luis Obispo County's housing affordability is showing signs of improvement.
In the first quarter of this year, 30 percent of home buyers could afford to buy a median-priced, existing single-family home in the county, compared with 24 percent in the same quarter a year ago, according to the California Association of Realtors Traditional Housing Affordability Index. Affordability also increased from the fourth quarter of 2014 when 26 percent of home buyers could afford to buy.
Home buyers in the county would need to earn a minimum annual income of $97,600 to qualify for the purchase of a $492,390 median-priced, existing single-family home in the first quarter of 2015. The homeowner's monthly payment, including taxes and insurance, would be $2,440.
San Luis Obispo County joined Marin and Monterey counties in seeing the largest year-to-year gains in affordability. Contra Costa, Solano and San Joaquin counties had the largest year-to-year declines, due to double-digit home price growth there.
The greater affordability in San Luis Obispo County is mainly due to interest rate declines as well as increases in median annual household income, the association reported.
California as a whole has seen improvement as lower interest rates and stabilizing prices over the past year have contributed to more people in the state being able to buy a home in the first quarter of this year.
The percentage of home buyers who could afford to buy a median-priced, existing single-family home in the state rose to 34 percent in the first quarter of 2015 from 31 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. It was 33 percent in the first quarter a year ago, according to the index.