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San Diego Housing Among Nation's Least Affordable

San Diego Housing Among Nation's Least Affordable
San Diego Housing Among Nation's Least Affordable
GUESTSMarney Cox, SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) Chief Economist Gary London, real estate economist with London Group Realty Advisors
San Diego Housing Among Nation’s Least Affordable
San Diego's housing market continues to be among the least affordable in the nation. A new survey finds only one of the nation's largest cities ranks lower.

San Diego's housing got less affordable during the past year. A survey by a banking information website pegs the city as having the second "least" affordable housing market in the country.

The Numbers

$62,395: the median household income for residents living in the City of San Diego, according to the 2012 American Community Survey.

$469,000: the City of San Diego's median home price during the second quarter of 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. surveyed the nation's 25 largest cities. The firm measured the median home price, the cost of financing and compared it to a region's median income. Nationally, incomes are up, but those increases are outpaced by jumps in home values and the cost of mortgages.

San Diego's median paycheck was 37.71 percent below the amount required to buy the median priced home. That was worse than every city surveyed but San Francisco, which had a negative 48 percent rate.


Mike Sante is the managing editor of and he said affordability dropped nationally making it harder for people to buy homes.

"Even though their income went up, the mortgage rates went up and they could actually afford to borrow less than they could last year," Sante said. "And then you added on the fact, that in all 25 cities, we saw an increase in property values."

Marney Cox is Chief Economist for the San Diego Association of Governments. He said it's an issue of supply and demand.

"Only in the last year has the housing market gotten close to stabilizing," he said.

Part of the affordability problem is that there aren't enough new homes being built.


Cox said San Diego is still not issuing enough new homebuilding permits. Last year 6,000 permits were issued, but we need 12,000 to 18,000 to be a normal market.

Home prices in San Diego are up more than 20 percent when measured against last year's prices.

Atlanta was the most affordable city on the list. The median income there is nearly 25 percent higher than the money needed to buy a median-priced home.