New report finds San Diego is one of least affordable metros in the nation

affordability-salestaxThe Chamber released a new jobs dashboard comparing the affordability of San Diego to nine competing metropolitan areas, including: Raleigh, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Jose. The report found that nearly all competitor metros are more affordable than San Diego, with the exception of Portland. (Read the full report here.)

“The measure of a region’s affordability goes beyond just housing. It’s important to look at the whole picture of how far a person’s income will go to support living in a certain area. San Diego excels in many areas, but this dashboard reveals that overall affordability is an area that’s holding back our economic potential.”

Jerry Sanders, President & CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber


CHART: Income needed in San Diego to maintain current spending habits

Affordability varies based on several factors including income. For example, Raleigh has a lower average income than San Diego, but because cost of living there is much lower, that income actually goes 45 percent further than the typical income in San Diego. In San Francisco, where housing and other costs are substantially higher, it is actually more affordable than San Diego because incomes are higher.

Additional key findings of the dashboard include:

  • San Diego ranks sixth, out of 10, in per capita personal income
  • One-third of average annual income in San Diego goes to housing, highest behind only San Francisco and San Jose
  • 42 percent of households that own a home with a mortgage pay over 30 percent of their income on housing
  • 57 percent of households that rent a home pay over 30 percent of their income on housing
  • California’s income and property taxes are second and third highest, respectively

“One of the most productive things we can do to address our region’s affordability is focus on how to increase incomes through education and training. Investing in middle and high-wage employment opportunities will benefit employees, employers, and all of San Diego.”

Peter Callstrom, President and CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership

This dashboard is the second of three examining the region’s business climate as part of the Chamber’s Regional Jobs Strategy. The challenges outlined in these dashboards and how best to address them in a coordinated, regional approach will be the focus of the final Regional Jobs Strategy report which will be released in January 2017. Earlier this month the Chamber released the “Business and Tax Climate Dashboard” [PDF] and next month will release a third dashboard that takes a comparative look at the region’s standard-of-living.

Launched earlier this year by the San Diego Regional Chamber Foundation in partnership with the County of San Diego, City of San Diego, and San Diego Association of Governments, the Regional Jobs Strategy was created to coordinate a unified effort to spur economic growth and create jobs for the entire Cali-Baja region. The Jobs Strategy includes over 50 of the region’s business and civic organizations. The Affordability Dashboard and appendix can be downloaded from the Chamber website here.