Has Tech Money Made San Francisco Unaffordable for the Rest of Us?

by Ben SanfordFebruary 11, 2019

How Tech Companies Have Altered San Francisco’s Housing Market

San Francisco was once a city of dreamers, artists, and activists. It was weird long before Austin took the title. But these days, San Francisco is far different from the days of free love that it once enjoyed. Modern San Francisco is now home to a conglomerate of tech companies, and the amount of money being made by these companies has turned the city’s real estate market on its head, making it one of the country’s hottest and most expensive.

The quirky and eclectic side of San Francisco is slowly dying. As more and more tech companies continue to move to the city, the housing market is not only making it impossible for average Americans to move to the San Francisco, but it’s also causing long-time residents to leave in droves. Here are three reasons why tech money may have finally made San Francisco unaffordable for the rest of us.

living in san francisco

Blue Collar Workers Can’t Afford It

The simple fact is, unless you earn a sizable tech paycheck, San Francisco is pretty much out of your price range. This means that blue collar workers, retail employees, baristas, fast food employees, and other such professionals are finding it impossible to live in this new version of the city.

Many have had to relocate to places like Oakland or the East Bay, but with so many tech workers coming to the Bay area, housing prices in these adjacent communities are also being affected. San Francisco is slowly becoming a city of tech giants, with nobody left to pour the coffee or fix the plumbing.

living in san francisco

San Francisco Is Often a Test Subject and That’s Not Always a Good Thing

Tech companies never ask for permission, they just ask for forgiveness after they do something that doesn’t work out for the local population. Because of this, San Francisco is constantly being subjected to the whims of tech startups and giants alike.

The latest innovations are tried here first, and, in many cases, the results aren’t necessarily positive. The recent scooter fiasco is just one example. These types of issues make life for the average person challenging, and they do nothing for keeping long-term residents in the city.

Tech Companies Are Building Skyscrapers, in San Francisco?

As smart as tech geniuses are, the companies that hire them don’t always seem to be. San Francisco’s skyline has been transformed in recent years by tech companies building skyscrapers, in one of the most earthquake-prone cities in the world.

This not only doesn’t make sense, but it also has the potential for disaster that has caused homeowner insurance policy costs to skyrocket. Add this to the fact that the city was built on a landfill, and you can see the type of risk we’re talking about. So, you not only need millions to buy a home or apartment in the city, but you also need a ton of money just to insure it.

living in san francisco

How Much Does the Average Person Need to Make to Live in San Francisco?

According to the 2018 analysis conducted by the California Association of Realtors (CAR), it was determined that the minimum income needed to afford the median-priced home in San Francisco was $334,000. Nearby San Mateo requires a $326k salary and in Santa Clara, you can get a median-priced home earning just a mere $285k. The most affordable area in the Bay area is Solano, when you can afford to live on a $89k income.

Are you fortunate to have an annual income high enough to allow you to live in the San Francisco Bay Area? Are you looking for a home in the area? If so, then Homes.com can provide you with listings filtered according to your unique wants and needs. Give us a try today and find your new home in luxurious San Francisco before more tech giants move in and cause market prices to spike again.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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