Can Middle Income Families Afford to Rent in San Francisco?

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With mortgage rates rising in thus far in 2014, home sales saw a decline, contrary to expectations, says ACL Real Estate and Property Management.

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San Francisco has the dubious achievement of ranking sixth among the 90 least affordable cities for rent

Median rent across the United States has been rising such that middle income families are now finding it difficult to rent homes in more than 90 major cities in the United States, including San Francisco, says leading full service property management and real estate firm, ACL Real Estate and Property Management. For rent to be considered affordable, the cost of rent and utilities together should cost no more than 30% of a family’s income.

A recent study by Zillow Real Estate Research shows that median rent in 90 cities in the country, excluding the cost of utilities, was higher than 30% of the median gross income. The figure below takes a look at the top 10 cities where rent is becoming unaffordable for middle income families:

San Francisco has the dubious achievement of ranking sixth among the 90 least affordable cities for rent. According to a comprehensive study by Harvard University, 50% of all renters in the United States were spending today more than 30% of their income on rent, as compared to 38% in 2000. In December 2013, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan had expressed his concerns, saying that this was “the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has ever known.”

The study by Zillow also showed that a major reason for this crisis was the growth in renters between 2007 and 2013. During this time, the number of tenants in the United States increased by 6.2 million, while homeowners increased by a mere 208,000. According to chief economist Stan Humphries, of Zillow, new households are increasing renting homes rather than buying them, especially due to mortgages being much more difficult to obtain now than before the bursting of the housing bubble in 2007-2008.

Looking at the situation in San Francisco in particular, even public employees who get pay with benefits have reported that the city has now become too expensive for them to rent, especially after the tech boom. To make matters worse, a study by the Brookings Institution shows that adding to the problems of housing for the middle income group is that the divide between the haves and the have-nots in the United States is growing at a historically rapid rate.

“The situation is likely to worsen before it starts improving. We are expecting some respite from the addition of housing units expected through this year and the next,” says a spokesperson from ACL Real Estate and Property Management. In the meantime, the company is doing its best to help renters find the best deals in the East Bay and Peninsula regions.

About ACL Real Estate and Property Management: With wide experience and a proven track record in quality service and reliability, ACL Real Estate and Property Management has carved a niche for itself for its real estate and property management services in the East Bay and Peninsula areas. The company has a successful track record of assisting home owners in both selling and buying any type of property. The company also offers comprehensive property management services that ease the process of selecting tenants, maintaining the home and ensuring timely rent collection for homeowners.

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Charles Lassey
ACL Real Estate
+1 (510) 786-9025
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