Love the San Francisco Bay Area? Hate the San Francisco Bay Area? Trying to make sense of the Bay Area Real Estate Markets? What do the experts have to say?
1) “A new study from human resources consulting firm Mercer has found that out of 230 metro areas studied, San Francisco has the highest quality of life for any American city.” (San Francisco ranks No. 1 in U.S. for quality of life, study says), By Riley McDermid, SF Business Times, March 1, 2016
2) “Californians are fleeing the state in unprecedented numbers, and their primary destination is Texas, according to an analysis issued Monday.” (Valerie Richardson of the Washington Times reports, August 31, 2015. Full Story (Texas emerges as top destination for Californians fleeing state).
It seems that on the surface, these statements from two of the articles above contradict themselves. However, it isn’t until you read the 3rd article entitled; California job surge could squeeze low- and middle-income workers, By George Avalos, of the Contra Costa Times that it starts to make some sense.
3) “California’s boom in high-wage jobs, such as those in the tech sector, has shoved housing prices skyward and threatens to squeeze low and middle-income wage earners out of the Golden State, a report released Wednesday warned.”
“It’s not a question of people having jobs, because there are a lot of jobs in California,” said F. Noel Perry, a business executive and founder of Next 10. “It’s a question of whether people can afford to live in California.”
“Housing prices are rising at a time when California has experienced an influx of low-wage workers, the Beacon study determined.”
“Over the five years that ended in 2014, the most recent year for which these statistics are available, the number of low-wage workers coming into California increased by 16.1 percent, according to the Beacon research. The number of middle-wage workers rose 11.2 percent, and the number of high-wage workers increased 6 percent.”
“Left unchecked, housing costs could severely hamper the low- and middle-income workers that power our economy.” Perry said.
“The pressure on housing for middle- and low-income workers is particularly acute in the Bay Area, the world capital of the technology industry.”
4) “Gridlock in the mid to low end of the housing market is one of the main reasons for the low inventory,” says Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist and the author of the study. Blame owners, not builders, for housing crunch By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, March 21, 2016
“Gridlock in the housing market that’s slowing both first-time home purchases and trade-ups to better units is the chief reason for a persistent housing shortage, according to a new study.”
“The report by online real estate site Trulia casts doubt on the widespread belief that a scarcity of new construction is the main cause of a crunch that has driven up home prices and slowed sales.”
“Instead, the study says, a yawning price gap between mid-level and premium homes that’s shutting out many move-up buyers is the biggest obstacle to a more ample supply. Also, a large share of entry-level homes are off the market because they’re owned by either investors or so-called “underwater” homeowners who effectively can’t sell, the study says.”
5) Bay Area residents love what tech does, hate what it brings, new survey shows by Riley McDermid, San Francisco Business Times, March 30, 2016
“Richard Zak, Charles Schwab regional branch executive based in San Mateo, told the San Francisco Business Times the recent study highlights that balancing act that Bay Area locals have to find between having a good quality of life while also getting ahead financially.”
“The results showed some yin and yang to them,” Zak said. “Bay Area residents feel good about the strength of the local economy, but the high cost of living is a real burden on their ability to reach their financial goals.”
What residents say are the Bay Area’s best assets
89% Technology industry
85% Weather, overall
85% Food and dining
78% Arts and culture
73% Quality of life
What residents say are the Bay Area’s worst assets
82% Cost of living
68% Housing market
66% Commute times
54% Tax rates