When discussing the affordability of San Francisco living, the conversation tends to turn towards whether low income residents and starving artists can still afford to live here amongst all the blue bloods and tech money — but what about the folks in the middle? A new report from the real estate data miners at Trulia suggests San Francisco is the least affordable housing market in the country for the middle class.
In San Francisco, only 14% of homes for sale right now, October 2013 are affordable to members of the city's middle class. ("Middle-class affordability" here is defined as homes for sale where the monthly payments would add up to less than 31% of the area's median income.) That's compared to 24% and 25% for Los Angeles and the New York metro area. It seems like that would largely be a function of our limited land area and rapidly dwindling housing stock, but to add insult to very expensive homeownership injury: "affordable" homes in San Francisco tend to be smaller than every major metro area aside from New York and Honolulu.
So which town has the most affordable middle class homes? Akron, Ohio of course. Even though San Francisco's median income of $78,840 is 60% higher than a middle-of-the-road salary in Akron, our median price per square foot is seven times that of Ohio's fifth largest city. As the Chronicle's real estate blog points out, a San Francisco household making a hair shy of $80,000 per year can only afford to buy a $409,000 home. Our pals over at CurbedSF, who like to keep an eye on these sorts of things, will be quick to note that San Francisco's median home price passed the $1 million mark months ago and you'll be hard-pressed to find something more spacious than a 1-bedroom or a cottage for under $500,000.