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San Diegans live well but pay for it

Locals (who can afford a home) shell out 59.7 percent of income on mortgages

San Diego is the eighth most livable city in America, according to WalletHub, the statistical aggregating firm. This is based on such factors as recreation, diversity, job market, quality of schools, tax rates, and health.

San Diego trails (in this order) San Francisco, Seattle, Raleigh, Colorado Springs, Denver, San Jose, and Austin. The worst cities? Memphis (61st) and Detroit (62nd).

But San Diegans pay for this quality of life. According to Zillow.com, San Diegans in the bottom tier economically shell out 59.7 percent of their monthly incomes on mortgage payments. That's compared with 22.7 percent nationally. Among the 34 largest metro areas, that's topped by only Los Angeles (76.1 percent), San Francisco (68.4 percent), and San Jose (71.2 percent).

San Diegans in the top economic tier spend 23.1 percent of their monthly incomes on mortgages. That's topped only by Los Angeles (27.5 percent), San Francisco (29.7 percent), and San Jose (33.3 percent).

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San Diego is the eighth most livable city in America, according to WalletHub, the statistical aggregating firm. This is based on such factors as recreation, diversity, job market, quality of schools, tax rates, and health.

San Diego trails (in this order) San Francisco, Seattle, Raleigh, Colorado Springs, Denver, San Jose, and Austin. The worst cities? Memphis (61st) and Detroit (62nd).

But San Diegans pay for this quality of life. According to Zillow.com, San Diegans in the bottom tier economically shell out 59.7 percent of their monthly incomes on mortgage payments. That's compared with 22.7 percent nationally. Among the 34 largest metro areas, that's topped by only Los Angeles (76.1 percent), San Francisco (68.4 percent), and San Jose (71.2 percent).

San Diegans in the top economic tier spend 23.1 percent of their monthly incomes on mortgages. That's topped only by Los Angeles (27.5 percent), San Francisco (29.7 percent), and San Jose (33.3 percent).

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Comments
19

"San Diegans in the bottom tier economically shell out...." Based on the cost of a "starter" home my guess is that those in the bottom tier do not make mortgage payments. Two income families (couples) would have to make a high combined income just to afford a "starter" assuming they were able to amass enough to make a down payment. Most middle class income earners working a full time hourly job can not afford a mortgage.

July 12, 2016

AlexClarke: I recently saw another study. In San Diego, it takes a salary of well over $100,000 to buy the median priced home. The only metro area that was higher was the San Francisco Bay Area. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

James T. Kenihan: Yes, San Diego rents are ridiculously high. Of course, that is true of most major metro areas. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Bob Hudson: Pittsburgh prices are quite low. Bottom tier: 15.1 percent; Top tier: 8.5 percent. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

James T. Kenihan II: San Diego has not done well in producing affordable homes. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Alex Clarke: Those are stunning -- and depressing -- numbers. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Kevin Sisterson: It used to be that San Diego had low utility costs compared to other cities. That was because people didn't have to heat homes for a good part of the year. Now San Diego Gas & Electric has rates that are the highest -- or about the highest -- in the nation. San Diego utility costs are much more than the nation's. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Kevin Sisterson: Good point. The San Diego County cost of living is one of the nation's highest. San Diego median family incomes are 20 percent higher than the nation's, but the cost of living is about 45 percent higher. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Donald Lee Sexton: Unfortunately, I can't disagree with what you say. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Bob Hudson: If you already have a San Diego home you purchased in less expensive times, you can afford to stay in San Diego -- possibly. But if you are moving, and choosing between two cities, one of which is San Diego, you may have to take Pittsburgh for economic reasons. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

James T. Kenihan: Northern New Jersey? Oh dear. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Kevin Sisterson: Cold winters aren't really that bad. So says a former Chicagoan (me). I would never go back to Chicago, other than for occasional visits. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Donald Lee Sexton: Most San Diegans don't realize that the city and county have long histories of corruption in government -- and also such private sector areas as banking. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Donald Lee Sexton: "Kleptocracy" is a good word. Unfortunately, it is usually used to describe Russia -- accurately. But there are kleptocrats in San Diego, too. Best, Don Bauder

July 12, 2016

Donald Lee Sexton - Welcome to the family.

July 12, 2016

shirleyberan: Sexton doesn't pull punches. We like that. Best, Don Bauder

July 13, 2016

Have been a San Diegan since 1975. Moved here (from Detroit) at age of 22, with nothing but a vehicle and about $500. Got a job (and apartment) 2nd day here. Joined the Army, (from here), served one tour overseas, and came back with GI Bill to help pay for Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from SDSU. I own 2 properties in San Diego, and two elsewhere in California. If you work hard, study hard, plan ahead, don't expect everyone to give you a handout, and don't spend all your time bitchin', then you can make it here. I'm proof. Surprising as it may seem, even with all my hard work diatribe, I still lean way left politically. Which is a another benefit of San Diego. This place becomes more my town with every election. As for lack of housing, read the Sac Bee writers about all the NIMBY rules on land availability (or lack of) in our State. Free up 5 % more land and you'd have a housing boom like Texas.

July 13, 2016

mridolf: California already has a PRICE housing boom, particularly in the coastal cities. Housing in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, L.A., Orange County, and San Diego is already the most expensive in the nation.

Moving from Detroit to San Diego was certainly fortunate for you. We moved from Cleveland to San Diego and did not regret it for a minute. Best, Don Bauder

July 13, 2016

Kevin Sisterson: More people continue to leave the San Diego area than enter. The high cost of living is a factor in the outflow. Best, Don Bauder

July 15, 2016

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