It was no surprise at all to see San Francisco be named the least affordable city in the country yet again in the latest affordability report by real estate website Trulia. But the gory details of the report are still startling. A median household in the San Francisco metropolitan area would have to spend 77 percent of its monthly income on housing to purchase the median-priced home on a 30-year loan. That figure also includes property taxes and insurance. That's far above the second place city, Los Angeles, where a median household would spend 59.6 percent of monthly income on housing. Then, a median household would have to spend another 8.6 percent of their income on commuting and utilities, bringing its entire expenditure on the basics to 85.5 percent of income.
The only good news for San Francisco in all of this is that we actually have the second lowest percentage of income spent on commuting and utilities of all the metro areas examined by Trulia. That's largely because there is a decent public transit system locally and the climate is moderate, meaning that heating and cooling bills are relatively low. Of course, that doesn't balance out San Francisco's insane housing costs.
The bad news is that affordability has gone significantly down in the past year for San Francisco, and for most of the other cities in Trulia's study. In 2014, the median household in the San Francisco metro area would have spent only 57.2 percent of income on housing, meaning that 20 percent more than that is required just a year later. Of course, this study only looks at the costs of purchasing a home, not renting—but as we all well know, renting isn't an affordable proposition here, either.