Only One in 10 San Franciscans Can Afford to Buy a House

Home shoppers in San Francisco needed incomes of $267,780 to become owners of a typical house in the second quarter as prices soared to a record.

Ten percent of San Franciscans could afford to buy a single-family home, down from 12 percent in the first quarter, the California Association of Realtors said in a report Tuesday. The median price in the technology hub reached $1.35 million, the group said.

Surging prices are putting homeownership out of reach across the most populous U.S. state. California is home to four of the country’s five most expensive housing markets, led by San Jose and San Francisco, according to a separate report Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors.

“With home prices and rents continuing to rise and wages showing only modest growth, declining affordability remains a hurdle for renters considering homeownership -– especially in higher-priced markets,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement.

For the wider Bay Area, 20 percent of buyers could afford the median-priced single-family home, down from 23 percent in the first quarter. Compared with a year earlier, both the San Francisco and Bay Area measures were unchanged.

The statewide affordability index also was unchanged from a year earlier, at 30 percent, while falling from 34 percent in the first quarter. The index is a composite of home prices, mortgage rates, taxes and insurance, assuming a 20 percent down payment.

The home affordability index in San Francisco was 8 percent in 2005 and 2007, when higher interest rates increased the cost of ownership. It reached a high of 29 percent in the first quarter of 2012, based on data compiled since 1991.

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