Of all households in the region, 28.8% in 2011 spent more than half their income on housing. That was up from three years earlier, when the figure was 27.1%, despite declining housing costs, writes the Sacramento Business Journal.

Janet Viveiros, a Center for Housing Policy research associate, said the finding is a worrisome sign as home prices — and rents — begin to rise again. "If incomes don’t rebuild at the same time, you can have increased unaffordability," she said.