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San Francisco's Teachers Can Afford Exactly Zero of San Francisco's Homes

Scott Lucas | February 27, 2014 | Story Real Estate

Every day seems to bring new and terrifying ways to encapsulate just how screwed up San Francisco's real estate market is. Rising rents. Ellis Act evictions. Income inequality. Poison meatballs left around town to kill dogs. Today's piece of news could be the most jaw-dropping of all. There are no homes for sale within San Francisco that are within reach of the average's teacher's salary. None.

Good lord. How did it come to this?

Here are the gory details.

According to a study conducted by real estate broker Redfin, the average salary for the state's 300,000 elementary, middle, and high school teachers is $69,300 per year. The current median list price of a home in the entire state is $485,000. As a general rule, monthly payments on a home should not exceed 28% of gross monthly income. That means the average salaried teacher should be paying no more than $1,600 a month—which works out to a home valued at $260,000.

So how many houses or condos are available in the city at that price? You guessed it. A whopping zero. The situation is better across the Bay. 9.7% of Alameda homes are within that range and 8.6% of Contra Costa's. The best numbers in the Bay Area are in Marin county, which boasts 12% of its homes available at the average teacher's salary. Besides us, San Mateo is the worst, at just 1.2%. The most plentiful county in the study was Merced, at 59%.

The study fingers one culprit in particular: supply that hasn't kept pace with demand. There's obviously quite a few caveats to this snapshot. For one, it doesn't tell us if the affordability situation now is better or worse than at previous time periods—or if we should expect improvements or continued catastrophes. It also doesn't look at the average salaries of teachers in each county, which could vary from the state's total average, or take into account multiple-partner households. It also elides San Francisco's general policy position in favor of a higher mix of tenants to owners than in other cities around the state.

But with all of that said, Jesus Christ. There are no homes here that an average teacher can afford to buy.

[H/t: SF Business Times]

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