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Priced Out: Where Higher Rates Could Hurt Home Buyers Most

By Suzanne Woolley - 2014-01-09T16:47:41Z

Photograph by Felix Adamo/The Bakersfield Californian/Zuma Press

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Pain at 6%: Bakersfield, Calif.

Monthly income devoted to mortgage bill: 

• historic average: 19.5%

• at 6% interest rate: 21.8%

Bakersfield's two essential industries, oil and agriculture, keep housing demand -- and so prices -- high. The median home value in Bakersfield, which is situated between Fresno and Los Angeles, was $153,500 in 2013's third quarter, and the median annual income here is $47,977. Zillow expects the median home value to rise 18.2 percent by September. If interest rates rise to 6 percent, 21.8 percent of monthly income will go to the mortgage.