Affordability Improves in the Bay Area, But…

A recent Home Affordability Index, which calculates the percentage of income needed to make monthly payments on a median-price home with a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and 3 percent down payment, states in a third quarter report that affordability nationwide is at its lowest level in seven years although there have been modest gains in the Bay Area.

Affordability improved in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Clara, and Marin counties while it declined in Solano, San Mateo, Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Alameda counties. Six of the least affordable housing markets in the United States are located in California including both San Francisco and Napa counties.

As an indicator of difficulty of housing affordability, since 2012 home prices have increased 10 times faster than wages nationwide.

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