Living La Vida Local
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Victorville, 46.9 percent; and Los Banos, 46.4 percent.

* The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during February 2005 was $471,620, a 20.4 percent increase over the $391,550 median for February 2004, association reported.

* In the luxury home category Los Angeles values rose 17.5 percent, or $256,000, for the year 2004. The average luxury home in Los Angeles is $1.72 million.

* The Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in February 2005 was 3.9 months, compared with 1.8 months for the same period a year ago. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.

* Thirty-year fixed mortgage interest rates averaged 5.63 percent during February 2005, compared with 5.64 percent in February 2004, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable mortgage interest rates averaged 4.16 percent in February 2005 compared with 3.55 percent in February 2004.

* The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 40 days in February 2005, compared with 26 days (revised) for the same period a year ago.

* California households had a median household income of $53,240 in fourth-quarter 2004, which was $56,070 short of the $109,320 qualifying income needed to purchase a median-priced home in the state.

* The minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $474,480 in California in December was $110,530, based on an average effective mortgage interest rate of 5.76 percent and assuming a 20 percent down payment. This figure was up from $94,070 in December 2003, when the median price of a home was $401,720 and the prevailing interest rate was 5.82 percent.

* By contrast, the minimum household income needed to purchase a median-priced home at $188,900 in the United States in December 2004 was $44,000.

* The percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home was at 19 percent at the end of 2004. Down 4 percentage points from a year ago.

* Nationally, there were 6.68 million existing-home sales in 2004. Sales were up 9.4 percent from 6.1 million in 2003.

* Nationally in 2004, the median price was $184,100, up 8.3 percent from a median of $170,000 in 2003. This is the strongest annual increase since 1980 when the median price rose 11.7 percent.

* By the end of 2004, a first-time buyer earning the national median income of $56,300 and with cash to make a 10 percent downpayment will be unable to qualify for a home priced at the national median, the Fannie Mae Foundation says. By 2007, repeat buyers earning the national median won't be able to buy a median-priced home. Why? Rising home price appreciation of 4.8 percent per year will eclipse income gains of 3.4 percent per year.

* Poverty rates increased in 41 states and the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2003, says the Coalition on Human Needs. States with the highest percentage of people in poverty: Louisiana (20.3 percent), Mississippi (19.9), and New Mexico (18.6). More:

* Contrary to arguments frequently made by local planning boards, apartment development doesn't overburden public schools and municipal education budgets, a survey by the National Association of Home Builders has found. The survey showed an average of 37 school-aged children per 100 multifamily households compared with an average of 62 children per 100 single-family households.

Los Angeles-based C.A.R. is a state trade organization with more than 160,000 members.

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