Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

May 19, 2009
More and more affordable
On the heels of last week's California Association of Realtors report that 80 percent of first-time buyers can now afford the median-price starter home in Sacramento, here comes even more astonishing news on affordability from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

It says that 76 percent of capital-area homes sold in the first quarter of 2008 in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties were affordable to households earning the region's median income of $72,800. The HOI pegged the region's median-priced home at $193,000. That's the midpoint where half cost more and half less.

What's amazing about this is how fast this region has become affordable again. Just two years earlier, in the first quarter of 2009, 13.4 percent of homes were affordable to capital-area households earning a median of $67,200.
And Q1 2006? Just 7.9 percent of area homes were affordable to households earning a median of $65,4000.

I looked at some other Western cities that have a lot in common with Sacramento.
(Again, to summarize): 76 percent of homes in the capital are affordable to households earning a median of $72,800. The median priced home was $193,000.


  • Seattle, at $314,000, 57 percent of homes were affordable to households earning a median income of $84,3000.
  • Salt Lake City, at a median price of $231,000, 65.9 percent of houses were affordable to households with a median income of $67,800.
  • Phoenix, at $143,000, 81.2 percent of homes were affordable to households earning the median of $65,900.
  • Las Vegas, at $155,000, 80.6 percent of homes were affordable to households earning the median of $65,400.
  • Denver, at $178,000, 79 percent of homes were affordable to households earning the median income of $76,000.

For a complete look at metro areas and Sacramento in particular, dating back to 1991, check out this index on the main page. (Look for "complete history by metropolitan area")


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