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San Francisco Is Expensive, But Millennials Are Coming Anyway

San Francisco has become a hotbed for millennials. According to new research from real estate website RealtyTrac, between 2007 and 2013 the city saw a 68 percent increase in its population of millennials (defined, at least for the purposes of this study, as anyone born between 1977 and 1992). The only area that saw a bigger change was Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. The influx of young people has persisted even though renting and buying a home in the city is extremely expensive. This lack of affordability is particularly relevant to millennials because many of them are at a stage in life to consider buying for the first time.

RealtyTrac then tells us what we already pretty much knew: San Francisco is the least affordable city for buying a house and the fourth-least-affordable city for renting. (To rank the cities, RealtyTrac looked at what percentage of an area's median income you would need to spend on payments for a median-priced house or on rent for a median apartment.) In San Francisco, someone earning a median household income would have to spend more than 78 percent of those earnings on a median house payment. And renters would need to spend 47 percent of their income to get a three-bedroom rental. (Note: those rental figures look low; they're based on numbers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.)

Those looking for relief from high prices in the East Bay aren't likely to find it. Alameda County, where the number of millennials grew by 20 percent between 2007 and 2013, also ranked high on unaffordability. It came in seventh on the list of least affordable places to buy—with 44 percent percent of median income necessary for a house payment—and 11th on the rental list.

· Least Affordable Housing Markets for Millennials [RealtyTrac]
· Least Affordable Housing Markets for Millennials [Curbed SF]
· Housing Takes a Huge Portion of Bay Area Residents' Income [Curbed SF]