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CALIFORNIA MORTGAGES

 LA JOLLA, Calif., Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- California home buyers borrowed an average of $166,209 to purchase a home this year, down slightly from 1991, according to a real estate information service.
 The average loan size, which covers all mortgages statewide from January through November, is 0.1 percent below $166,447 for the same period last year (see chart), La Jolla-based Dataquick Information Systems reported.
 Bay Area buyers had to stretch the most to buy a home, they borrowed an average of $189,708. In Marin, San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties the averages are all over $200,000.
 Mortgages are smallest in the Central Valley where the average is $113,586. In Tulare, Kern, Madera and Fresno counties mortgages average less than $100,000.
 Dataquick monitors all real estate transactions statewide and provides real estate information to lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.
 "We need to remember that it's more difficult to qualify for a mortgage than it used to be. Potential home buyers that might have qualified a year ago don't meet the tightened criteria that lending institutions have today," said Donald L. Cohn, Dataquick CEO.
 "Appraisals often don't come in at the agreed-upon sales price. And lenders are looking long and hard at loan-to-value ratios, as well as at credit and employment history. They're putting their resources into making safe loans these days," Cohn said.
 While home purchase loans accounted for roughly one of three loans made by California lending institutions two years ago, the category now accounts for one in six. The safer home refinance category now accounts for half of all home loans.
 According to Mortgage News Co. of Santa Ana, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 9.34 percent in California during the January to November 1991 period. The average was 8.33 percent for the same period this year. Payments on this year's average California mortgage would be $1,258, down from $1,380 for 1991.
 Average Mortgages
 County 1991 1992 Percent
 Average Average Change
 Los Angeles $190,278 $185,495 -2.5 pct.
 Orange County $191,555 $191,704 0.1 pct.
 San Diego $156,534 $157,644 0.7 pct.
 Riverside $128,350 $133,576 4.1 pct.
 San Bernardino $124,575 $123,586 -0.8 pct.
 Ventura $184,126 $183,002 -0.6 pct.
 So.Calif. Total $171,691 $169,790 -1.1 pct.
 San Francisco $233,533 $227,258 -2.7 pct.
 Alameda $169,402 $171,590 1.3 pct.
 Contra Costa $172,770 $178,595 3.4 pct.
 Santa Clara $203,152 $205,687 1.2 pct.
 San Mateo $234,064 $235,486 0.6 pct.
 Marin $254,044 $255,569 0.6 pct.
 Solano $140,993 $141,607 0.4 pct.
 Sonoma $153,209 $150,237 -1.9 pct.
 Napa $153,585 $159,836 4.1 pct.
 Bay Area Total $187,881 $189,708 1.0 pct.
 Santa Cruz $176,720 $181,859 2.9 pct.
 Santa Barbara $165,287 $166,617 0.8 pct.
 San Luis Obispo $136,961 $146,195 6.7 pct.
 Monterey $170,932 $169,240 -1.0 pct.
 Coast Total $169,480 $171,145 1.0 pct.
 Sacramento $126,684 $124,734 -1.5 pct.
 San Joaquin $119,652 $117,966 -1.4 pct.
 Placer $142,532 $149,955 5.2 pct.
 Kern $95,657 $92,018 -3.8 pct.
 Fresno $94,941 $95,447 0.5 pct.
 Madera $88,109 $92,894 5.4 pct.
 Merced $99,456 $106,516 7.1 pct.
 Tulare $81,306 $87,189 7.2 pct.
 Yolo $124,346 $132,130 6.3 pct.
 El Dorado $127,882 $130,087 1.7 pct.
 Stanislaus $110,583 $110,470 -0.1 pct.
 Inland Total $112,780 $113,586 0.7 pct.
 All California $166,447 $166,209 -0.1 pct.
 -0- 12/31/92
 /CONTACT: John Karevoll, 909-867-9534/


CO: ST: California IN: FIN SU:

MS-JB -- LA008 -- 0930 12/31/92 13:25 EST
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Date:Dec 31, 1992
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