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Biz Buzz: Still tough to afford a home here

San Luis Obispo County was the least affordable region in the state in the first quarter of this year, according to the California Association of Realtors first-time homebuyer affordability index.

The percentage of households that could afford to buy an entry-level home in the county stood at 52 percent, compared with 49 percent in the first quarter a year ago.

In San Luis Obispo County, the median price of an entry-level home stood at $310,110 in the first quarter. The estimated monthly payment, including taxes and insurance was $1,740. The minimum qualifying income was $52,300.

Statewide, San Francisco was the second least affordable market, at 53 percent. The High Desert region was the most affordable in California at 84 percent.

In California, the affordability index stood at 66 percent in the first quarter, compared with 69 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the association reported.

The median price of an entry-level home in California was $246,270 in the first quarter of this year.

The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level home in the state in the first quarter of 2010 was $41,540. The estimated monthly payment, including taxes and insurance, was $1,380.

— Julie Lynem

French receives a $1 million donation

French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo received a $1 million donation from an anonymous donor at its Share the Hope fundraiser at the Hearst Ranch in April.

About $137,000 was also raised during the event, including a single donation of $50,000 from urologist Michael D. Clayton and his wife, Jennifer, in memory of Annelisa Hahn.

All proceeds will benefit the Hearst Cancer Resource Center Endowment Fund, which supports a center for cancer patients to receive free services to maintain quality of life during treatment. The endowment fund was established in September 2007, and the latest gifts bring its value to $2.3 million.

— Julia Hickey

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