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SF Is the Least Affordable Housing Market for the Middle Class

Just 15 percent of homes for sale in San Francisco are within reach of the middle class, according to the latest numbers crunched by Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko. That's a minuscule improvement over last year's figure of 14 percent. Yay? By comparison, in the US as a whole, 59 percent of homes for sale are affordable for the middle class. Trulia calculates affordability by adding up mortgage costs, along with insurance and property taxes, and comparing the bundled payment with area median income. A home counts as affordable when the total payment is within 31 percent of the metro area's median household income. Dayton, Ohio, is the nation's most affordable market for the middle class, with a full 85 percent of homes within reach. And we thought Cleveland looked good!

San Francisco looks pretty bad overall, but when Kolko zooms in to look at submarkets—comparing SF with Manhattan, for instance—Manhattan zips back up to the top. (We've seen the same pattern with rent.) It's worth noting that, though people are fond of comparing Oakland to Brooklyn, San Francisco is the housing market that's actually about on par with Brooklyn. "In Alameda County, which includes Oakland, 32% of homes are within reach of the middle class—similar to Queens (33%), not Brooklyn (12%)," observes Kolko.

· Where Is Homeownership Within Reach of the Middle Class and Millennials? [Trulia]
· The Price of One Los Altos House Will Buy You 30 in Cleveland [Curbed SF]
· For the Third Month Straight, SF's Median Rent Tops NY's [Curbed SF]

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