California’s Least Affordable Counties

Earlier this year, RealtyTrac® released data on America’s least affordable cities. With two-thirds of the Top 15 located in California, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data decided to take closer look at the Golden State.

Using data collected in October 2014, RealtyTrac compare the affordability on all California counties with at least 100,000 residents. Are there counties in California with fewer than 100,000 people? We’ll get to that.

Counties were ranked using an affordability metric created by dividing the average home payment for a median-priced home by that county’s median household income as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. An average interest rate for 30-year fixed loans provided by Fannie Mae was used in the basis.

San Francisco topped the “list of the least” with an index over 97 percent. How many counties qualified? Only 35 of California’s 58 counties have more than 100,000 residents. Of those with fewer, the least populated is Alpine County in the Sierras with less than 2,000 people.

Here are the Top Ten counties on the list:

City Pop. Affordability %
San Francisco 837,442 97.44%
San Mateo 747,373 72.76%
Marin 258,365 70.83%
Santa Cruz 269,419 64.84%
Los Angeles 10,017,068 63.28%
Alameda 1,578,891 58.65%
Orange 3,114,363 57.85%
Santa Clara 1,862,041 56.47%
Sonoma 495,025 55.54%
Napa 140,326 54.18%

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