Bay Area real estate: To buy a median priced home, you now need income over $179,000

The income needed to buy a median-priced home in the Bay Area has more than doubled since 2012.

That striking bit of news comes from a second-quarter report by the California Association of Realtors. It shows that a minimum income of $90,370 was required five years ago to purchase a median-priced single-family home of $447,970 in the nine-county Bay Area. Today, in the wake of substantial job growth, particularly in the tech industry, the minimum necessary income has climbed to $179,390 while the median price has ratcheted up to $895,000 for the region.

But while that $179,390 might get you something in Alameda County (where the median home price is $880,000) or Solano County ($412,000), it’s not likely to get you anything in San Francisco ($1,450,000), San Mateo County ($1,469,000) or Santa Clara County ($1,183,440).

The state’s least affordable counties were San Francisco (where only 12 percent of buyers could afford a median-priced single-family home), San Mateo (14 percent) and Santa Barbara (16 percent), followed by Marin, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz (all 17 percent). In Alameda County, 19 percent of buyers could afford a median-priced home, compared with 31 percent in Contra Costa County.


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