San Diego Ranked Among Least Affordable Housing Markets

America's Finest City is pricey for middle class buyers looking to purchase a home

If you’re looking to buy a home in San Diego, be ready to shell out some major cash: San Diego has just been ranked one of the least affordable places to buy a home.

According to a list released by the real estate website, Trulia, the housing market is pricey for middle class buyers looking to own a home in America’s Finest City. The list says San Diego currently ranks the 5th “least affordable housing market for the middle class” in the nation.

Meanwhile, San Francisco tops the list of least affordable housing markets for the middle class. It’s followed by: Orange County, Calif.; Los Angeles; New York City; San Jose, Calif.; Ventura County, Calif.; Fairfield County, Conn.; Honolulu; and Boston.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Trulia also pulled together a list of the “most affordable housing markets for the middle class.”

That round-up includes, in order: Akron, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Toledo, Ohio; Gary, Ind.; Indianapolis; Cincinnati; Detroit; Columbia, S.C.; Columbus, Ohio; and Birmingham, Ala.

The company’s economist, Jed Kolko, says the middle class in San Diego can only afford 28 percent of the homes available on the market. And, for those who can afford it, that home is about 1,000-square-feet.

Ali Tarzi, of Community Housing Works, counsels homebuyers when they’re ready to purchase homes.

Tarzi says the recent rise in home prices have left a lot of people waiting for a housing opportunity to come along that fits their budget.

“We have a lot of families who want to take advantage of the low – still low interest rates, but going up – but still historically low. They’re ready; they even have their down payment, they’re just priced out of the market and there’s nothing available,” Tarzi explained.

But, for those who don’t own homes, Tarzi says there are some benefits.

“Renters have the freedom to move where work is, and where the jobs are,” Tarzi said.

However, there are some downsides to renting, including dealing with the whims of a landlord since renters aren’t necessarily able to lock-in their expenses for housing.

“What we’re noticing is increases in their rent,” said Tarzi. “So every time they sign their lease agreement, [rent] bumps up a little bit.”

Now, while the list cites three cities in Ohio as the most affordable places to buy a home, Mark Goldman at the San Diego State School of Business says that for some, moving to the Midwest may not be an option.

“People will take a lower wage and pay a higher percentage of their income towards housing expenses to enjoy the type of lifestyle we have here [in San Diego]. They don’t have that in Toledo, Ohio,” said Goldman.

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