The Odds of Owning a Home in California

Owning property and being able to call your home your own in the Golden State is its own form of "California Dreamin'".

But in a state with one of the least affordable costs of living in America, The Mamas & The Papas may have overhyped your odds of being able to buy a home in California.

To determine your odds of owning property in the Golden State, we considered a series of factors, including: 

  • the state’s income-house value ratio
  • California house price growth
  • the number of households here per 1,000 people
  • the home ownership rate across the state.

Ranking each state for each factor, we were able to reveal where California places among the easiest regions to purchase property. 

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Buying Property in California An Uphill Battle

According to our research, with an overall index score of 18.3 out of 100, California is among the hardest states to buy property in. In fact, the Golden State ranks second from the bottom ahead of only Hawaii (16.8), and just below New York (32.3).

California’s low ranking is due in-part to its unfavorable income-house value ratio, 13.67%, the second worst in the U.S. The Golden State places just below the likes of Arizona (18.39%), Nevada (17.41%), and Oregon (16.48%). 

To work this out, we considered the average income across the state ($111,622) and the average house value ($816,804).

Notably, there’s also a sparsity of households per 1,000 California residents, with just 328 currently, far below the national average of 374. 

This may, in some part, be linked to California being America’s most populated state, with almost 40 million people living here. 

Additionally, California has a relatively low rate of home ownership, with just 54.60% of people owning property here, the joint-lowest of all states.

Finally, however, house prices across California are rising faster than the average rate (58.62%), with the typical property here worth 63.10% more in 2022 than five years ago

While this places the state within the top half, California isn’t accelerating at quite the pace of Idaho (121.60%), Utah (99.60%), Arizona (91.40%), and Nevada (83.10%), among others.

What are Your Odds of Buying a Home in California?

California ranks among the toughest states to buy a home, with an overall home ownership rate of just 54.60%, joint bottom with New York and just below Nevada (59.70%) and Hawaii (58.30%).

However, despite this, your chances of becoming a California homeowner are generally favorable, with moneyline odds of -120. This means, statistically, you’re a bit more likely to be able to afford property here than not!

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To determine the how easy it is to buy property in California, we considered four different factors for each state:

• Income-house value ratio: The average household income divided by the average house value. 
• House price growth: The percentage increase in price of an average house over the past 5 years. 
• Households per 1,000 people: Calculated by dividing the number of households by the population, and then multiplying by 1,000. 
• Home ownership rate: The percentage of homes in each state that are owner-occupied.

Data for these factors was collected and normalized, to give each factor an indexed value between 0 and 1. These values were then summed, to provide a total score out of four for each state. The states were then ranked from highest to lowest based on this score.

To determine your odds of owning a home in California, we looked at the home ownership implied percentage and equivalent moneyline odds.

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