The income needed to afford a median-priced home in every San Francisco Bay Area county
- A new report details the minimum income needed to qualify for a loan to buy a median-priced home across the San Francisco Bay Area’s nine counties.
- According to the California Association of Realtors (CAR), the median price of a home in the Bay Area is around $900,000.
- Bay Area residents need to make around $187,000 annually to buy a median-priced home. That number differs by county.
The San Francisco Bay Area is a notoriously expensive place to live. Metro-wide, the median price of a home is $900,000 — nearly four times the national average.
A new analysis by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) found what San Franciscans need to earn to buy a median-priced house there, which can vary by county.
The map below, compiled by Business Insider, displays the minimum annual incomes needed to afford a typical home across the Bay Area’s nine counties. CAR defines the minimum income as what prospective buyers need to qualify for a loan on a median-priced home. The home prices come from Q1 data on single-family residences sold from CAR’s monthly home sales survey.
The most expensive place for purchasing a home is the city (and county) of San Francisco, where a minimum income of $333,270 is required to afford a median-priced home at $1.61 million. The least expensive county is Solano County, where residents would need to earn about a fourth of that.
Compared to CAR’s figures from late 2017, strong wage growth in the Bay Area has made six counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara) more affordable for locals. Affordability held steady in Marin, but decreased in Solano and Sonoma over the same period. San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz counties were the least affordable areas in the state.
Largely drawn by high-paying tech jobs, people have flocked in the past decade to the Bay Area at rates that the housing market cannot keep up with. Now, fed up with the Bay Area’s high housing prices, many residents are choosing to move elsewhere. Census data shows that net migration to the Bay Area peaked in 2014 and has been declining every year since.
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