In the Bay Area, “affordable housing” is relative

In Silicon Valley and San Francisco, where home prices are high, affordability takes on a different meaning, a new study shows

Jun.June 06, 2019 04:00 PM Chief Economist Danielle Hale and San Francisco Chief Economist Danielle Hale and San Francisco

Housing has become “more affordable” in some major metro areas across the country over the last year, including some unlikely places like the notoriously expensive San Francisco Bay Area.

But what does affordable mean?

In Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, it means that higher incomes among top earners have made purchasing a high-priced home more of a reality, according to Mansion Global, citing date from

Activity in the housing market surged earlier this year as buyers looked to lock down a purchase before others flooded in.

The biggest rise in affordability was in San Jose-Sunnyvale, California, where the median asking price was $1.17 million. Next on the list was Des Moines, Iowa, which was substantially lower at $288,000. And third was the San Francisco Bay Area, whose median asking price was $954,000.

Dallas and Austin also saw rises in affordability despite rising prices. That was to lower mortgage rates, higher wages, and high inventory, according to Chief Economist Danielle Hale.

Meanwhile, home prices have stagnated and in some cases dropped over the last few months in the Los Angeles area. The median price in L.A. County dropped about 3 percent from February to March, to $525,520.

Housing remains unaffordable across most of the country. As of March, the average annual wage was not enough to afford a median-priced home in more than 70 percent of U.S. counties. [Mansion Global]Dennis Lynch 

Related Articles

LeBron James and California Governor Gavin Newsom (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

LeBron wanted it and California’s governor signed it. What the college athlete compensation law means to real estate

AB 1482 is set to cap rents on units across the LA area (Credit: Wikipedia and iStock)

Here’s what California’s rent control bill means for LA County

Real estate agents will likely remain contractors under a proposed state bill (Credit: iStock and Wikipedia)

Brokers will remain independent contractors in California’s new gig economy

From left: Governor Gavin Newsom, Assemblymember David Chiu, Senator Holly Mitchell, and Senator Nancy Skinner (Credit: Getty Images)

Here are the key housing and rent control bills state lawmakers are debating

9402 South Broadway (Credit: Google Maps)

As South LA development heats up, Archeon Group plans latest apartment complex

Los Angeles homes (Credit: iStock)

In LA’s residential market, inventory is up and sales are down, Q2 report shows

The 25,000-square-foot home in Bel Air and Ardie Tavangarian (Credit: Hilton & Hyland and Getty Images)

Prolific spec home builder Ardie Tavangarian sells Bel Air mansion for $75M

Bob Halavi and 827 South Grand View Street (Credit: LinkedIn and Google Maps)

This 60-unit resi project would add to MacArthur Park’s growing pipeline