SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development

San Francisco Has Reached ‘Peak Unaffordability’

The city of San Francisco is known as a hub of education, innovation, and technology, and also for its high rents. With median home prices around $1.15 million and median rents at $4,500 a month, San Francisco is rated the “least affordable area” in the country to live. The expense of renting in San Francisco could serve as a deterrent to businesses and business leaders who would like to take advantage of the city’s vibrancy and culture.

San Francisco-based Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin made the comments in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

“You wouldn’t be incorrect to say the [San Francisco Bay] area is ‘weird,’” McLaughlin said in the interview. “San Francisco alone has gained more for buying a median-priced home than the 10 slowest-growing markets in the last 30 years combined. Thirty years ago, it was slightly more expensive than the rest of the country. Now it’s a lot more expensive. So we’ve really seen the Bay Area move and become further outliers than they were just a few years ago.”

SF has reached Peak Affordability


However, there is relief and hope on the horizon. The Bay Area has reached ‘peak unaffordability’, and economists say prices will moderate rather than continue to increase at such a staggering rate. Meanwhile, the number of homes and apartments in San Francisco is increasing.

The next few years could be an advantageous time for businesses to move into San Francisco, as they can continue to profit by the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation the area fosters without having to worry as much about high rents.


Read more: San Francisco Business Times (blog) San Francisco has reached ‘peak unaffordability