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Want to buy a home in SLO County? Here's how much you need to earn (Hint: It's a lot)

New homes under construction at Trilogy at Monarch Dunes in Nipomo.
New homes under construction at Trilogy at Monarch Dunes in Nipomo. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

You’ll need to earn at least $123,460 per year to buy a median-priced home in San Luis Obispo County, meaning housing is affordable for only 25 percent of residents, according to a new real estate report.

A California Association of Realtors housing report on the first quarter of 2018 lists median home prices, estimated monthly payments and qualifying incomes for each of the state’s 58 counties.

Median prices generally represent the mid-point for housing costs — about 50 percent of residents pay more and 50 percent pay less.

The median home price for San Luis Obispo County is $596,400, which translates to a monthly payment of $3,090, including taxes and insurance, according to the report.

Brian Uhler of the non-partisan California Legislative Analyst's Office explains the origins of the Golden State's housing crisis.

Twenty-six percent of residents could afford to buy a home in the county in 2017, when the median price was $550,000 and the required income was $113,020.

The median home price statewide is slightly lower than San Luis Obispo County's at $538,640, with a monthly payment of $2,790 and a minimum qualifying income of $111,500.

San Luis Obispo County's median price is in line with those of other Central Coast counties.

Santa Cruz County homes are the most expensive, with a median price of $850,000 and a required income of $175,950.

Homes in Santa Barbara and Monterey counties are less pricey. Santa Barbara County residents pay a median price of $675,000, requiring an income of $139,730. Median Monterey County home prices come in at $590,000, meaning residents must earn $122,130.

Away from the coast, median home prices in the Central Valley tended to be lower, coming in at $355,000 for Sacramento County, $300,000 in Stanislaus County and $258,000 in Fresno County, among others. That requires incomes in the $53,000 to $73,000 range.

Toward the southern end of the valley, Tulare County had a median home price of $225,000 and Kern County $231,500.

San Francisco County tops all lists with a median home price of $1.6 million and $333,270 minimum qualifying income, followed closely by San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, still reeling from a Silicon Valley-fueled housing boom.

A property in San Jose with a house that burned down two years ago sold in April after less than a week for $900,000, about $100,000 over the initial asking price. And a condemned home in Fremont, also in the Bay Area, sold in April for $1.23 million.

In the Los Angeles area, Orange County homes had an $810,000 median price, requiring a $167,670 minimum qualifying income. San Diego County homes reached a $610,000 median price, requiring an income of at least $126,270.

Rural counties in Northern California had some of the lowest median home prices, with Lassen County at $171,000, followed by Siskiyou County at $210,000.

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseymholden
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