Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Bay Area Housing Calculator

The Mercury News has created an interactive map which shows you where you can afford to rent or buy a property in the Bay Area based on your annual income. The Housing Calculator uses data from Zillow to map the median rental and mortgage costs in each zip code area. The map reveals that unless you earn more than the median wage it is almost impossible to afford to live in the Bay Area.

If you earn less than $66,000 a year then you can forget about renting affordable property anywhere in the Bay Area. If you earn $66,000 a year then you can just about afford the median rent in Fairfield in Solano County. The cheapest place to buy a property is in Rio Vista, also in Solano County. In Rio Vista you will need to earn at least $57,200 to afford the median mortgage payment in the area.

For the purposes of this map properties are deemed affordable if the homeowner or renter is able to spend 30% or less of their gross monthly income on the mortgage or rent.

The Housing Calculator has been created as part of Mercury News' ongoing investigation of rising housing costs in the Bay Area, The Price we Pay. This three part series examines how the housing crisis is turning the Bay Area into an unaffordable area to live for all but those who earn significantly more than the median wage.

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