Most San Francisco renters can't afford starter homes
San Francisco renters on average earned 40% of the income they would need to afford a median-priced "starter home" in the city, per October figures from Point2Homes.
- Researchers consider "starter homes" properties valued in the lower one-third of all available homes for sale.
Why it matters: Higher mortgage rates and housing costs are keeping homeownership out of reach for many hopeful first-time buyers in San Francisco.
By the numbers: The average household income among San Francisco renters in October was $100,715, but the income needed to cover a median mortgage was $251,190, according to the study.
- In September, the median price for a "starter home" in San Francisco was $1,048,498, the study found by analyzing Zillow data.
Reality check: The median starter home in SF costs as much as the median starter homes in the top 10 most affordable cities … combined!
- Following October's interest rate hike, renters in 15 of the 50 largest U.S. cities made less than half the income needed to buy one of the entry-level homes in their respective town, per the analysis.
Between the lines: There's a housing crisis in San Francisco, and the city must meet state-mandated goals to build 82,000 housing units between 2023 and 2030 to meet demand.
- Meanwhile, it takes a median 627 days to obtain a full building permit to construct a multi-unit housing project, a recent San Francisco Chronicle analysis found. It takes even longer, 861 days, to obtain permits to build single-family homes.
The big picture: Nationwide, the number of first-time home buyers has shrunk to a record low, according to the National Association of Realtors. First-time buyers made up 26% of all buyers in 2022, down from 34% last year, the group found.
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