Surprise: SF is hard to afford

You already knew that San Francisco is a tough row to hoe when it comes to affordability, but did you know that it’s now considered the third least affordable major metropolitan area in the world? That’s according to the tenth annual Demographia Housing Affordability Survey of 360 markets across the globe.

Our city by the bay falls behind only Vancouver and Hong Kong in the rankings, which are based on what the survey called “Median Multiples”, or median house pricess divided by gross annual median incomes. Major markets must have populations that exceed one million.

As a city develops, nothing is more important than maintaining mobility and housing affordability,” urbanist Alain Bertaud asserts in the report, which ranks Pittsburgh as the world’s most affordable major housing market, followed by Detroit. All ten most affordable markets, in fact, were in the U.S.

If you’re talking about areas less than a million in population, other cities pointed out as not particularly affordable include Honolulu and Santa Barbara, the latter of which is the U.S.’s absolute least affordable metro area.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email

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