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Report says San Diego has the most unaffordable housing market

San Diego is known for its perfect weather and diverse scenery, but its costing renters and homeowners a pretty penny. A study reports San Diego is climbing to be the nation's most unaffordable housing market. KPBS reporter Tania Thorne tells us more.

A recent report by a Texas company suggests San Diego tops the list of the nation’s most unaffordable housing markets. The report, conducted by OJO Labs, looked at median home prices and local incomes.

The median home price in San Diego rose 14.3% in January to $764,000.

When OJO looked at the median home price and local incomes, the two factors pushed San Diego’s unaffordability score to the top of the list, surpassing San Francisco.


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“We’ve also seen a major deterioration in the affordability of home ownership in San Diego which is not particularly affordable to begin with … but it got a lot worse during the pandemic,” said Jeff Tucker, a senior economist with Zillow.

Tucker said household incomes aren’t increasing as fast as home prices.

“Not yet seeing the major increases in salaries and incomes to match that increase in the cost of homes," Tucker said. "That’s why as a share of people's income, the cost of home ownership in San Diego is getting wildly unaffordable right now.”

Christopher Thornberg with Beacon Economics said affordability isn’t the root of the conversation, it's the lack of housing supply.


“If you had more houses for sale, that price would go down. If you had more apartments for rent, that price would go down.” said Thornberg. “Well how do we have more supply? We do everything that people in San Diego don’t want to do. You need densification. You need height limits taken back. You need to have more land being used for housing.”

Thornberg said many industries find San Diego attractive and that’s helping drive the increase in prices.