San Francisco's housing market is so out of control, 60% of tech workers say they can't afford homes

San Francisco's housing market is so out of control, 60% of tech workers say they can't afford homes

Silicon Valley


San Francisco is too expensive even for tech workers.

  • The San Francisco Bay Area's housing market is so bleak, even tech workers are struggling to buy a home there.
  • A survey by Blind found that 59% of employees at Bay Area tech companies said they cannot afford homes.
  • Cisco, eBay, and Intuit had the highest percentage of employees who said home ownership is elusive.

In Silicon Valley, buying a home is out of reach even for the region's tech workers.

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Blind, an app that lets (mostly tech) workers chat anonymously about the workplace, asked employees from 13 Bay Area tech companies if they can afford buying a home. A 59% majority said they cannot afford to purchase a house in the Bay Area.

At least 100 employees at each of the 13 companies - including Apple, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Cisco, eBay, Intuit, Airbnb, Uber, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Intel, and Oracle - participated in the survey, with a total of 2,326 responses, according to Blind.


Tech is still the single biggest economic engine of the Bay Area, but the region is becoming increasingly unaffordable and unlivable for the software engineers and product managers who fill its coffers.

The median-priced home in San Francisco sells for $1.6 million, and it's not uncommon for buyers to bid hundreds of thousands of dollars above asking and pay in all cash. As a result, only about 12% of households in San Francisco can afford the median-priced home.

Some tech workers fare better than others

Tech workers are often paid more than the general population, though that paycheck doesn't stretch far in the costly Bay Area.

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The median-priced home in San Francisco sells for $1.6 million.

According to Blind, Cisco had the highest percentage of employees (72%) who said they can't buy a house, followed by eBay (70%) and Intuit (65%).

People who go to work at Salesforce, Google, and Facebook may have an easier time of it. Those companies ranked lowest with 52% of Salesforce employees, 51% of Google employees, and 51% of Facebook employees reporting they can't afford homes.

Apple, which became the first company to be worth $1 trillion on the public markets last week, was mixed in among startups Airbnb, Uber, and Pinterest, with 63% of employees unable to buy a house.

The Bay Area is on the brink of an exodus

As the dream of buying a home evades them, tech workers may be considering a move elsewhere.

A report from real-estate site Redfin revealed that San Francisco lost more residents than any other US city in the last quarter of 2017.

The great migration is far from over. In 2018, 49% of Bay Area residents said they would consider leaving California because of the cost of living, according to a survey of 500 residents by public-relations firm Edelman.

They're cropping up in places like Seattle, Portland, Denver, and Sacramento, though a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle highlights that people in the Pacific Northwest aren't exactly pleased to welcome their new neighbors as their home prices soar.

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