LA Times – Orange County is the third-most-expensive housing market in the country, with two other chunks of the Southland ranking in the top 10.

That’s according to a new report out Tuesday from the National Assn. of Realtors, which measured the median price of homes sold in the second quarter. Orange County’s median — the point at which half of homes sold for more and half for less — hit $691,900 in the quarter, trailing only the San Jose and San Francisco metro areas.

The San Diego area ranked fifth at $504,200 and metro Los Angeles — Los Angeles County — ranked ninth at $420,300. Even the relatively inexpensive Inland Empire sat 21st — pricier than Miami; Austin, Texas; or Chicago — with a median of $274,600.

Price growth compared with last year slowed in most U.S. housing markets, the report said. But prices are now well above levels of the last few years. That has put home buying out of reach for growing numbers of households, especially in high-cost markets.

Qualifying for a mortgage on a median-priced home in Orange County with a 20% down payment would require household income of $131,168, the report estimates; with 5% down, it would require $155,762.

In metro Los Angeles, a median-priced home would require $79,679 in household income to qualify at 20% down, and $94,619 at 5% down.

Median household income in Orange County is $75,566, according to the Census Bureau. In Los Angeles County it is $56,241.

Original article courtesy of LA Times.