Median price for a California home soars past $900K, a record

Typical house payment, with 20% down, is $4,785, up 53% in 25 months

Median Price for a California Home Passes $900K, a Record

The price of a typical home across the Golden State has surpassed $900,000, a record.

The median price for an existing single-family house in California reached $904,210 in April, a first, the Orange County Register reported, citing a California Association of Realtors report.

Home prices across the state rose 5.8 percent from the previous month and 11 percent in a year.

The median crossed the $800,000 meridian for the first time in March 2022 on the heels of historically cheap mortgage rates.

Record prices for single-family homes has put them beyond the reach of millions of residents, widening the affordability gap.

The Realtors association reported the number of California homebuyers in April was below 300,000 for the 19th month in a row. Since 1990, home buying in the state has averaged 402,000 sales a month.

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A family hoping to buy a California home needed to earn $208,000 to qualify to buy a typical $814,000 home in the first quarter, a previous study by the association found. The mortgage qualifying standard for income has jumped 38 percent, or $55,000, in two years.

The price threshold crossed the $200,000 mark in March 1991, at the end of that era’s housing bubble, according to the Register. That month’s 9.5 percent average rate for a 30-year mortgage, with a 20 percent down payment, meant a typical monthly payment of $1,345.

Then median home prices across the state took a steady march toward being unreachable for many — surpassing $300,000 in March 2002, $400,000 in August 2003, $500,000 in April 2005, $600,000 in May 2018 and $700,000 in August 2020, according to the Register.

When the price of a typical home in California shot past $900,000 last month, a limited number of qualified home buyers fought over a scant inventory of homes listed for sale, as interest rates  hit highs not seen in more than two decades.

As a result, sales have averaged a mere 280,000 a month in this 25-month period. The month’s 7 percent interest rate created a monthly payment of $4,785 – up 53 percent from the previous threshold.

— Dana Bartholomew

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