Median-Priced Home In San Francisco Requres $333,000 Annual Income

San Francisco County Real Estate is so hot right now that in order to afford a median priced home of $1,610,000, a household needs to bring in around $333,000 in annual income, according to a quarterly survey by the California Association of Realtors. 

Nearby San Mateo county isn't much better - where a $1,575,000 median priced home requires an income of $326,000. 

The good news, at least for well off San Franciscans, is that more households - 15% - were able to buy a median-priced single-family home in the first quarter of 2018 vs. the fourth quarter of 2017, thanks to rising incomes which rose faster than the increase in home prices and interest rates. 

Six out of nine bay area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara) were responsible for the majority of the affordability gains, according to the CAR, while affordability decreased in two counties (Solano and Sonoma). 

Statewide the situation is much more reasonable:

  • Thirty-one percent of California households could afford to purchase the $538,640 median-priced home in the first quarter of 2018, up from 29 percent in fourth-quarter 2017 but down from 32 percent a year ago.

  • A minimum annual income of $111,500 was needed to make monthly payments of $2,790, including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 4.44 percent interest rate.

  • Thirty-nine percent of home buyers were able to purchase the $449,720 median-priced condo or townhome. An annual income of $93,090 was required to make a monthly payment of $2,330.

In Southern California, affordability improved in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventuira, while remaining flat in Orange and San Diego counties during the first quarter in 2018. 

For those seeking California's most affordable areas, Lassen, Kern, Kings and San Bernardino counties top the list. 

California counties have become far less affordable since "peak affordability" in 2012, with Bay Area homes dropping from 45% to 23% in just 8 years, while the overall affordability in the United States went from 75% in 2012 to 57% in Q1 2018. 

Fun fact: Property tax on the average San Francisco home is $1,593 per month - while the average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in California is $1,430 per month ($940 nationally).