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San Diegans Spending More On Housing Than Most Americans

Evening Edition

Kelly Cunningham from the National University System's Institute for Policy Research talks to KPBS about local housing costs.

Aired 3/26/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Kelly Cunningham, National University System, Institute for Policy Research



Economic Ledger

Economic Ledger

National University System, Institute for Policy Research, Economic Ledger

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San Diegans spend more of their incomes on housing than residents in any other large U.S. city, according to a new report.

Kelly Cunningham, an economist at National University System's Institute for Policy Research, helped write the report. He told KPBS while the cost of buying a home has gone down, the cost of renting has increased 30 percent in the last three years.

"Which stands to reason, people who have lost their homes to foreclosure or whatever, had to go into the rental market, and that's created a lot more demand on rental prices," he said.

He also said San Diegans spend "a whole lot more" on housing.

"That's just one of the factors of living in San Diego," he said. "It's always been that way, but the recession hasn't improved that much at all."

Cunningham said 50 percent of San Diegans own a home, compared to 66 percent nationwide.

That is partly because of the city's large military presence, he said, but San Diego's population has also grown so that the military is no longer as dominant.

"It's a factor of just how high it is to buy a home here in San Diego," he said. "It's difficult for many people."

He added San Diegans pay less than the national average on utilities, mostly because of the moderate climate, and said locals eat out at restaurants more than the average U.S. citizen.

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Avatar for user 'jimpeugh'

jimpeugh | March 27, 2012 at 11:02 a.m. ― 5 years ago

Residents of SD pay much lower heating bills than most other areas of the country. Does anyone know if SD is still relatively expensive for housing if one includes home heating and cooling costs as a housing expense?

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Avatar for user 'KellyCunningham'

KellyCunningham | March 27, 2012 at 2:14 p.m. ― 5 years ago

Despite San Diego ranking 17th among 18 large metro areas on spending for utilities (only Los Angelese is lower), all housing costs (including utilities, household furnishings, supplies, operations, in addition to shelter) are still relatively higher. Only Miami has a higher total for housing expenditures as a percent of spending than San Diego. All San Diego housing expenditures average 42% of total living costs compared with 34% for the U.S.

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