The daunting real estate calculations in the Bay Area after COVID

Disappointed home hunters can’t imagine it – there really is one home for sale for every 1,206 families in the South Bay earning between $100,000 and $125 000 a year.

That’s according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors, which compares household income to the number of homes for sale in each price bracket as a way of measuring home supply versus potential demand. From families earning $50,000 a year to those earning $500,000, the San Jose and San Francisco metro areas are at the top of the list at or near the top of the list for the least accessible cities in the country, and competition is fierce in the lower price ranges.

“Although people can buy, there are no homes for them,” said Nadia Evangelo, chief economist and director of forecasting for the association.


Bid wars, waived searches, and all-cash bids are by no means new to the Gulf region. The report found that the combination of record high prices and record low inventory during the pandemic have combined to make home ownership out of the reach of more families.

In the longer term, economists warn, a severe shortage of housing options could widen the gap between the richest families and middle-class residents looking to take root, and prompt more aspiring homebuyers to leave the area altogether.

Concerns about widening inequality are magnified when the data is broken down by race. Evangelo said black home buyers have less than half the purchasing power of their white counterparts in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area, due to the region’s stark racial income gaps.

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