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Not a single affordable neighborhood left in SF, says data firm

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Except for the Presidio, where only 13 people own homes

Palm trees and buildings with tile roofs in the Presidio.          By James Kirkikis

The data software firm ESRI published a housing info map last week—titled “Is The American Dream Still Affordable?”—examining how many residents can afford a mortgage in every ZIP code in America.

Looking at ESRI’s coast-to-coast map, areas relatively affordable to nearby median earners appear in shades of gray, while spots in red denote where prices run high.

While many states have only one or no red zones, almost all of California appears awash in crimson, perhaps inviting us to trade in our Golden State moniker for something a bit more on the ruddy side.

The map measures the Housing Affordability Index (HAI) of each area. HAI is a formula developed for the National Association of Realtors to measure the relative price of housing stock in an area.

[Update: ESRI spokesperson Cameron Lowe says that the firm has developed its own HAI formula, separate from that of NAR. Lowe also notes that most the data used in the map comes from ESRI and that census information is only “the foundation of our updated demographic.”]

A HAI of 100 means that homes are well priced for the average earner in the area. A score of more than 100 means the average earner is likely to be able to buy with ease.

But the mapmakers specifically single out San Francisco as a place where HAI scores run so deep red that they almost eclipse over into being black. “The San Francisco metro area has an HAI of only 63,” the map notes note, “with many San Francisco ZIP Codes falling below an HAI of 50.”

Chinatown, where only a handful of residents (who are almost all renters) could hope to afford a home.
         By Tupungato

The data, collected from U.S. Census surveys from 2011 to 2015, also crunches what percentage of monthly income folks in each neighborhood are likely paying. Not counting Treasure Island (which has too few homes to make the list), here’s how the city breaks down:

94108 (Chinatown)

  • HAI: 20
  • Share of Income: 139.4

94102 (Tenderloin)

  • HAI: 22
  • Share of Income: 110.3

94103 (SoMa)

  • HAI: 40
  • Share of Income: 60.5

94109 (Nob Hill)

  • HAI: 41
  • Share of Income: 58.3

94121 (Outer Richmond)

  • HAI: 42
  • Share of Income: 57.6

94132 (Lake Merced)

  • HAI: 42
  • Share of Income: 57.7

94104 (Financial District)

  • HAI: 44
  • Share of Income: 110.5

94124 (Bayview)

  • HAI: 47
  • Share of Income: 51.1

94110 (Mission)

  • HAI: 48
  • Share of Income: 50.2

94115 (Pacific Heights)

  • HAI: 51
  • Share of Income: 57.2

94134 (Portola)

  • HAI: 52
  • Share of Income: 46.5

94122 (Sunset)

  • HAI: 53
  • Share of Income: 45.8

94131 (Glen Park, Twin Peaks)

  • HAI: 57
  • Share of Income: 42.6

94116 (Sunset)

  • HAI: 59
  • Share of Income: 40.9

94118 (Inner Richmond)

  • HAI: 59
  • Share of Income: 56.1

94112 (Excelsior, Crocker Amazon)

  • HAI: 60
  • Share of Income: 40

94111 (Embarcadero)

  • HAI: 62
  • Share of Income: 49

94111 (North Beach)

  • HAI: 62
  • Share of Income: 49

94158 (Mission Bay)

  • HAI: 65
  • Share of Income: 37.2

94107 (Potrero Hill)

  • HAI: 70
  • Share of Income: 34.5

94105 (South Beach)

  • HAI: 74
  • Share of Income: 34.1

94127 (Monterey Heights)

  • HAI: 76
  • Share of Income: 34.4

94114 (Castro, Noe Valley)

  • HAI: 82
  • Share of Income: 39.4

94123 (Marina)

  • HAI: 98
  • Share of Income: 38.8

94129 (Presidio)

  • HAI: 141
  • Share of Income: 32.5

Note that in the Presidio the census records less than 1,300 households and only one percent are owner-occupied, so there’s really not enough data to draw a firm conclusion about that number.

Neighborhoods like Chinatown also have very few homeowners.