By Brandon Yan : sfexaminer – excerpt
As Mayor London Breed takes office, San Francisco faces an unprecedented affordability crisis.
The median home price is $1.61 million. A family earning $117,000 now qualifies as low-income. Thousands are leaving The City by the Bay, and many more are considering the same.
Where did things go wrong? Unemployment is low, and incomes are rising. The median wage in the San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco region did rise 16 percent from 2011 to 2017.
However, that’s just 6 percent growth after adjustment for inflation.
In contrast, the average cost of renting a San Francisco apartment rose 39 percent, or 27 percent after inflation, in the same period. In 2017, the average monthly rent for a San Francisco apartment was $3,734 — or 17 days’ worth of income for a median wage earner working full time.
These numbers are based on my analysis of San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and San Francisco apartment rental price data from Rent Jungle.
Simply stated, wages can’t keep up with the rising cost of living, and the situation appears worst for low- to middle-income families. While the 75th and 90th percentile of hourly wages increased by $4.92 and $7.82, respectively, the 25th percentile saw only a 59-cent increase in real terms from 2011 to 2017….
The good news is that rental prices appear to be leveling off. The average San Francisco apartment rent has fallen slightly since 2016. Unfortunately, there’s still a long way to go for working-class wages to catch up, and this is the biggest challenge facing our new class of city leaders.
Born and raised in San Francisco’s Portola, Brandon Yan is an incoming medical student at UCSF, a recent graduate of Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in public policy, and a research analyst at the UCSF Institute for Health Policy Studies... (more)