Annual expenditures on shelter are 57 percent higher in San Diego than other metro areas of the U.S.
  • Annual expenditures on shelter are 57 percent higher in San Diego than other metro areas of the U.S.
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In the fourth quarter of last year, the median home price in San Diego hit $430,000 — 59 percent higher than the 2009 bottom but still below the $500,000 peak of 2005. Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research, says that San Diego is still one of the least affordable housing markets in the United States.

The San Diego housing market casts a daunting shadow on the national scene.

The San Diego housing market casts a daunting shadow on the national scene.

San Diego areas among Forbes 500 most expensive housing zip codes, 2014

San Diego areas among Forbes 500 most expensive housing zip codes, 2014

The shocker: San Diegans spend more of their household income on shelter than residents of any other metro area. San Diegans' income before taxes is 19 percent higher than the United States average, but annual expenditures on shelter are 57 percent higher.

"This stark difference is evidence for just how 'house poor' San Diegans are," says Cunningham.

From late 2005's bubble peak to the 2009 bottom, prices plunged 51 percent before bouncing back 59 percent (45 percent when adjusted for inflation). Now, with the median housing price at $430,000 and median family income at $72,700, the San Diego metro area is the tenth least affordable market in the United States, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

California accounted for 13 of the 14 least affordable markets. The least affordable is the San Francisco metro area, with a median home price of $920,000 and median family income of $100,400.

In San Diego County, the two most expensive markets are both in Rancho Santa Fe — a $3.4 million median home price in the 92067 zip code and $2.8 million in the 92091 zip code; third is Coronado at $2.24 million, and fourth is La Jolla at $1.9 million.

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Comments

ImJustABill April 20, 2015 @ 7:43 a.m.

No one's commented here yet? OK - I'll make a sarcastic one.

This is GOOD news Don. Rising house prices are GOOD for EVERYONE.

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pjamason2 April 20, 2015 @ 11:42 a.m.

How are rising home prices good for those who can't afford a home?

San Diego is the least affordable housing market in the country. Yet there's one comment here while Don's anti-development piece (http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...) has dozens, mostly railing against any badly-needed housing.

How does preventing new development near transit make San Diego more affordable? Many of the Reader's commenters oppose providing housing for younger residents (many of whom are already here, consuming water in their parents homes) and disregard its impact on our city's economy and jobs. Who will companies employ when our skilled talent leaves because they can't afford it here?

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ImJustABill April 20, 2015 @ 11:58 a.m.

I don't think rising housing prices are good. My comment is sarcastic. I agree with you - housing prices are a disincentive to live in San Diego.

We have numerous government programs and pundits spur housing development - mortgage interest deductions, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc. I think these programs incentivize people to take out bigger loans to buy bigger houses than they otherwise would.

So net results of promotion of the housing industry: A lot of work for builders. A lot of money changes hands (commissions) for big banks and real estate professionals. In general the public has bigger houses (and bigger energy / water footprint) and bigger debt than otherwise.

However, if you listen to the financial news, and promotions from realtors, one might get the impression that rising housing prices are always good. I was trying to mock those who present rising housing prices as only good.

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Don Bauder April 20, 2015 @ 1:56 p.m.

ImJustABill: I'm sure people caught the sarcasm in your first remark.

Some argue that there is one good thing about high and rising home prices: they ARE a disincentive to live in San Diego. These are people who believe the place is already crowded enough. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 20, 2015 @ 1:53 p.m.

pjmason2: Yes, rising home prices are good for outtatown flippers and speculators, but they are not good, overall, for the local economy -- particularly when they reach the level of San Diego's. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder April 20, 2015 @ 1:50 p.m.

ImJustABill: Yes, that is indeed a sarcastic remark. Rising housing prices -- especially when they get to the level of San Diego's -- keep young families from buying homes. They are forced to rent. Rents are soaring in San Diego. Flippers become major home buyers. Pools of speculators' money buy homes. Best, Don Bauder

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