It’s no secret that one of the priciest locales in the US is the San Francisco Bay area in California. This community is home to many tech companies, which makes it attractive to many people who are looking to make their way in the world. However, the price of housing has exploded in recent years. The city is having trouble keeping up with the influx of people, and many around the nation know that the housing situation is bad. Just how bad is not as well known.
Who Can Afford Housing In San Francisco?
Back in 2012, a family earning $100,000 could afford to rent at the median rate in 70 percent of the zip codes in San Francisco, a solid majority of the zip codes in San Fran. The same family could afford the median mortgage in 41 percent of these zip codes. As of 2018, San Francisco has become much less affordable. Now, the same family earning $100,000 could afford the median rent in only 28 percent of the zip codes within San Francisco while they could afford the median mortgage payment in only 18 percent of the city’s zip codes. This is a major change in just a short period of time.
What Do People Do?
There are basically two options for people who live in the Bay Area. The first is to attempt to suck it up and pay the higher housing costs. This cuts down on disposable income and hurts many of the businesses that depend upon consumer spending. The other option is moving outside the city and dealing with a lengthy commute that can reach two hours each way.
What Is The Answer?
Building new roads will likely not ease the growing traffic problem. One needs only to look at traffic in the LA area to see that more lanes of traffic does not alleviate severe traffic jams. Gridlock is becoming more common in the Bay. The answer to the price of housing in San Francisco is additional supply. The city needs more housing, and that housing needs to be close to people’s employment. Those who are young and hip would be tempted to walk or bike to work. The cost of housing would go down with more supply, and the overcrowding of the region’s roads could be alleviated as people move closer to work.