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Increasing housing prices are again putting a serious squeeze on affordability, the California Association of Realtors reports.

Just 44 percent of Californians could afford to purchase a median-priced single family home in the first quarter of 2013, according to the trade group. That’s down from 48 percent at the end of 2012 and 56 percent a year ago. The actual number, however, could be much lower, especially in San Diego.

In calculating figures, the Association assumes a median home price of $350,490 and that a buyer has a 20% down paymentof over $70,000, plus closing costs, available to spend up front. Using those calculations, a family with no other debt would need to make $66,800 per year to qualify for a 30 year fixed-rate loan on the balance at 3.55 percent interest.

Affordability in San Diego fell to 38 percent, though at no time in the last year have even half the county’s residents been able to afford a median-priced home, even given the generous assumptions.

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