Finding a place to rent in the Bay Area is notoriously tricky — anything even remotely affordable seems to get snapped up in the blink of an eye, and it can feel as if everyone competing with you for that great one-bedroom apartment has more cash to throw around than you.
Well, according to a report picked up by the Business Times, that last part may be more true than you know. Zillow, a company which runs a real estate marketplace and thus has access to lots of related data, took a look at the income of renters moving to the Bay Area and compared it to those already here. The company's analysts determined that, on average, the renters coming to the Bay make $23,000 more annually than those already living here.
In other words, it might not be all in your head. New arrivistes really do have more money than you — if you're an average earning Bay Area resident, that is.
This gap is the biggest of its kind in the country, Zillow tells us, with the San Jose metro area a close second at $20,600. And those moving to the Bay are going to need every dollar they can muster. A Zillow press release notes that rent in SF is expected to go up 4.9 percent over the next year.
Intuitively, the idea that people moving to a high-cost market like SF earn decent money makes sense. "Almost universally across the markets we examined, longer-distance movers — both those seeking to move in, and those seeking to move out — tend to have higher incomes than more local [SF] movers, those seeking to move a shorter distance within a metro," the report reads. "Moving is expensive. Except in the direst of cases, households that are willing to undertake long-distance moves have the financial and social capital to fund the journey."
Also of note, even with the super high cost of living, more people are trying to move to the Bay Area than leave it. Zillow notes that 27.3 percent of renters are hoping to leave the region, while 30.9 percent are trying to move in — although, truthfully, we probably didn't need a study to tell us that.