Home Prices

Best Paying ‘Job' in San Diego? Homeowner, Maybe

The average annual income for a household in San Diego in 2020 was $83,454. Most owners of existing, single-family homes in San Diego County "earned" way more than that

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Earlier this week, the number crunchers over at the Case-Shiller Index made an astounding announcement: Home prices in San Diego County had, in the space of one year, gone up a staggering 27.1%.

Now, on it's face that might sound good, but it's not. In fact, it's great when you consider the median price of an existing, single-family home in San Diego County was $888,000 in February, according to the California Association of Realtors.

Consider for a moment that the average annual income for a household in San Diego stands at $83,454, according to the 2020 Census.

Now let's do a bit of back-of-the-envelope math: A home purchased for $700,000 last year at this time would have grown in value to the neighborhood $890,000 in the intervening 12 months. Divide 190K by 52 and you get $3,654 a week. Divide $3,654 by 40 and you get $91.35. See where we're going here? That would be a very good paying job.

So anybody who has had the good luck, good fortune or good sense to come into a piece of property — to wit, a detached single family home — in San Diego is making 16 large every month just for showing up.

Sure, there are San Diegans who make that kind of money, but still, that means your annual household income needs to be in the ballpark of $190,000 to match your "earnings" from owning that real estate, when the median household here is raking in 80 grand and change.

And don't forget: That's just the median home. Imagine, if you will, you had this sweet four-bedroom with 3.5 bathrooms in La Jolla that's a hair over 2,800 square feet — so, not a mansion, but a single-family detached home that's currently just a tad short of three mil, $2,995,000.

Extrapolating backward, that address was worth around $2.35 million a year ago, and its value soared by around $635,000 during the past year. If you're wondering: Somebody making $635,000 a year at their day job is earning in the area of $305 an hour.

Now, for fun, we Zillow-ed that house in La Jolla. It was last for sale in December 1999, when it sold for $977,500, an increase of somewhere around a hundred grand a year in the intervening two decades. Good work if you can find it.

How does San Diego stack up with the rest of the country? Well, nationally, home prices year-over-year skyrocketed 19.2% in January, according to the Case-Shiller Index.

The biggest winners? Phoenix, Tampa, Florida and Miami, with annual gains of 32.6%, 30.8% and 28.1%, respectively.

But then, you'd have to live in AZ or the FLA, wouldn't ya?

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