The Central Coast remains among the least affordable housing markets in the country, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo housing opportunity index.
San Luis Obispo County was the nation’s eighth least affordable market overall and third least affordable smaller market for the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the index.
The figures show San Luis Obispo County lagging behind a trend that shows national housing affordability rising to its highest level in the 20 years it has been measured, according to Jerry Bunin, government affairs director for the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast.
San Luis Obispo’s 45.6 percent affordability rating means that almost half of the households could afford the median home sales price of $348,000, Bunin wrote in a news release.
In the fourth quarter a year earlier, San Luis Obispo’s index was 32 percent and it was the third least affordable market overall.
“The numbers overall show a positive trend on residential affordability,” Bunin wrote, “a vast improvement from the days last decade when only 6 to 8 percent of the county homes were affordable to a median income household.
“It is, however, still difficult to predict what new and existing homes will sell for when all the distressed properties on the market today are sold.”
The index showed Santa Cruz-Watsonville as the least affordable smaller metro housing market, followed by Ocean City, N.J; the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles area; Laredo, Texas; and the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta area.
— Bob Cuddy