Stunning new numbers confirm what first-time home seekers already know: It's getting dramatically more difficult to find an affordable first home in San Diego County.
A new study by Trulia says the supply of starter homes has plummeted 80 percent over the last four years -- to fewer than 1,000 homes for sale.
Starter homes, according to the real estate tracker, are in the lower third of prices. In the county, that means a median $327,400 for a home.
San Diego renters are feeling the pinch. Johny Thornton, a North Park resident, just got his rent raised by $75 a month.
"You pretty much just have to bite the bullet," he said.
Thornton could try to buy a home, but it's getting more complicated in the county, where demand far exceeds new home construction.
Trulia says most of the starter homes are in areas like downtown, El Cajon, Oceanside, Encanto and Spring Valley.
"Especially at this age, being 30, you can't keep renting month after month after month," said Thornton, who works at Overload skateboard shop on 30th Street.
Someone who can find a home at the $327,000 price tag and puts 3.5 percent down would need to earn about $5,400 a month to qualify.
The monthly payment on the home would cost about $2,100, with taxes and insurance included.