Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 18, 2016

More money, more problems

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

A recent article in SF Gate  revealed the unfortunate truth about what is considered “wealthy” or even “financially comfortable” in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It’s based on a study from Charles Schwab.  The TL;dr of the piece is that nearly everyone really shouldn’t be able to afford to live here.

More than half of the respondent felt as though the cost of living in the Bay Area was too high and affects their ability to reach their financial goals:


But even as people lament the high overall cost of living there is a recognition that the Bay Area economy is thriving:


And that even though the tech industry is a good economic engine it drives up real estate costs which is a bad thing:


Even though some of the national discussion is focused around the anger of people feeling as though they will never be able to dig themselves out of financial hole, the issues that face the Bay Area are largely self-induced.  If the Bay Area had built enough housing to keep up with demand folks wouldn’t feel as though they were being pushed out because they were no longer able to afford housing.

But I’ll point out that fixing what ails the Bay Area does not require a wholesale change at the federal level.  What it requires is a hard look at how local jurisdictions make it harder (or easier) to ensure that there is some level of affordability.  For example the city of Mountain View elected a pro development City Council majority in 2014 after years of having slow growth City Council majorities like the rest of the Bay Area.  Until we are ready to make incremental changes on the local level, it’s unlikely that any change — even “revolutionary” change — will make much of a difference.



  1. The technology jobs are for Millennials. The wages are good, but not great. The Baby Boomers who are about to retire have seen the cost of living increase dramatically over the past twenty+ years and that’s made it difficult for them to survive in the Bay Area. The 2001 and 2008 recessions damaged Baby Boomer’s income and finances to the point where it has been difficult for most of the to recover. Yes, the economy has improved ver the last few years, but that has not meant the Baby Boomers have improved. The “bubble” looms for all of us and what looks good today, may not look so good a year from now. Far more technology “start ups”are closing their doors than opening, thus we may see a lot of available apartments in the next 12-18 months. If that happens, renters may finally have some control of what they pay for their living space!

    Comment by Bill 2 — April 18, 2016 @ 8:34 am

  2. Can we redefine wealth, as we have a wealth of shoreline that is free for the taking.

    Comment by Gerard L. — April 18, 2016 @ 10:25 am

  3. LOL- “But I’ll point out that fixing what ails the Bay Area does not require a wholesale change at the federal level.”

    Fixed this for you- “Vote for Hillary, but change your damn zoning laws!”

    Comment by BMac — April 18, 2016 @ 10:34 am

  4. Bill 2 I don’t necessary agree. I am Baby Boomer, and the Bay Area economy has helped a lot of us. I think there is a slow down but I don’t see rents being effected much. We still lack a supply of housing for the amount of people who want to live in the Bay Area. I may be wrong but you will see rents stabilizing some in SF but it will continue to go up in Oakland, Alameda and much of the East Bay. According to the SF Business Times: “Construction and engineering giant fills Oakland’s last big office vacancy” and today “Walnut Creek’s retail booms, as rents rise and high-end shopping abounds”.

    Comment by joelsf — April 19, 2016 @ 8:23 am

    • Joelsf. Good reply and thoughts. Maybe I’m too close to my own situation to view things correctly at times. Thanks for taking time to respond.

      Comment by Bill2 — April 19, 2016 @ 11:39 am

  5. BART facing $400 million deficit over next 10 years

    Comment by MP — April 20, 2016 @ 6:31 am

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