The Caustic Costs of San Diego Housing

Some posts need little explanation, because the numbers so clearly speak for themselves. Based on a report from a Chamber of Commerce, the median annual income in San Diego is $66,536. The median monthly rent for a one-bedroom residence (presumably apartment): $2,543. Based on a “rent-to-income ratio of 30 percent”, the yearly salary necessary for that same flat: $101,720. Ah, yeah.

That’s an income shortfall of $35,184. Stated differently, that median one-bedroom costs $30,516 over 12 months. And that ignores other intangibles that jack up the cost of living. How much? San Diego ranks No. 1 in U.S. News World Report’s list of the “Most Expensive Places to Live in the U.S. in 2023-2024“. Hell, what an honor!

Methodology synopsis: “Based on the median gross rent and annual housing costs for mortgage-paying homeowners of each metro area, these cities require the most wealth to live comfortably”.

Say, what does a home cost, to live comfortably in? The median price is $889,225, according to U.S. News. At a current interest rate of 7.713 percent that home would require $177,845 down payment (assuming 20 percent of purchase price) with estimated monthly payment (including insurance and taxes) of $5,917. That’s $71,004 annually.

Stated differently: The yearly base mortgage cost for the median-priced home in San Diego is $4,468 more than the median annual income. Meaning: The entire gross annual salary can’t cover financing, and that’s without factoring other costs of home ownership.

And people wonder about the rise in homelessness here. Well, maybe there’s more to Babylon Bee’s “Tent Hunters: California Couple Searches For Their Dream Home” than satire.

Okay, let’s talk Featured Image, captured on July 17, 2018. I had a bunch of “for rent” photos in my library and chose this one because it comes from Google Pixel 2 XL—which I still possess, incidentally. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/477 sec, 27mm (film equivalent); 7:16 p.m. PDT. This one is composed as shot.