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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Housing Affordability Still A Problem In San Diego

Photo by Sarah Kovash

A local home for sale in San Diego.

San Diego's home prices remain out of reach of most people. A housing affordability study put San Diego near the bottom of the affordability list.

San Diego home prices are not going up as fast as they did earlier this year, but affordability continues to be a major issue.

A new Interest.com report finds San Diego is the second least affordable housing market among the nation's 25 largest cities. Only San Francisco is less affordable. The entire list is here.

San Diego's median income is about 38 percent below what it would take to buy a median priced home.

Least Affordable Markets

Five cities got a letter grade of "F" from Interest.com for a lack of housing affordability. The cities and the percent their residents' median income was below the median home price are:

Miami: -25.88 percent

Los Angeles: -31.70 percent

New York: -31.99 percent

San Diego: -38.23 percent

San Francisco: -45.64 percent

Source: Interest.com

That is not a surprise to San Diego State University real estate instructor Mark Goldman.

"We have very limited supply. We have very very strong demand, but the price that people are able to pay is limited by affordability," Goldman said. "You know, we can only go so high and we start squeezing people out of the market."

October's year-to-year price gain in San Diego was a little more than 6 percent. Year-to-year price gains had been in double digits for much of the past two years.

Goldman said affordability is a long running problem in San Diego. The median price of a home in San Diego County was $440,000 in October, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. The latest figures from the census show the county's median household income is about $63,000.

"People don't have unlimited resources. But the percentage of gross income utilized for housing, whether its rent or to own a home, typically is much higher in San Diego," Goldman said.

Goldman predicted that the size of year-to-year of price increases will continue to drop, ending up somewhere in the 3 percent to 4 percent range.

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