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Most Tech Workers Can’t Afford to Buy a Home in San Francisco or Seattle

San Francisco or Manhattan has the highest median home prices in the US depending on which sources you use. In San Francisco that figure may be as high as $1.6 million dollars. In fact, MarketWatch just published an article about how you could buy a whole town in the state of Georgia for the median home price in San Francisco.

The SF Gate published a similar one in February about possibly buying an entire island in Ireland for about the same price. (Seattle’s median home price is about half of San Francisco’s but it’s still one of the highest in the nation.)

If you get a high-paying tech job in the Bay Area you might expect to have it made. It’s a culturally rich region with an enjoyable climate and a lot of natural beauty. Tens of millions of tourists visit San Francisco every year to enjoy all the sights and experiences. So, what could be the problem?

The issue is many people who live in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area don’t make enough to afford to buy a home so they are stuck renting. The same situation applies in Seattle too, though to a lesser extent.

You might assume employees at some of the biggest tech companies would be able to thrive financially in locations like the Bay Area and Seattle, so we decided to find out for ourselves and conducted a survey of thousands of tech workers on Blind from February 23 to March 1.

For northern California workers we used this statement — Yes or No: I can afford to buy a house in the Bay Area, and for Seattle a very similar one was posted.

Over 3,600 workers from 21 tech companies in the Bay Area responded. Can you guess which one had the highest percentage of employees who said they can’t afford to buy a home? It was Tesla — 76% of its employees who responded did so with a ‘No’.

Oath/Verizon Media was a close second with 74% choosing the same option, and nearly the same percentage of Cisco employees did as well. Ebay, NVIDIA, and VMware were the next trio with 68%, 67% and 66% of their employees indicating they can’t afford to buy a house in the Bay Area. Rounding outing the top 10 were PayPal with 66%, Pinterest with 62%, LinkedIn with 61%, and Apple at 61%.

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Over 1,900 Seattle tech company employees participated in the survey, and 49.5% of Amazon workers who responded selected the ‘No, I can’t afford to buy a home option’ as did 45% of Microsoft employees.

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If you live in the Bay or Seattle, these results probably aren’t that surprising. Just last year, we ran a nearly identical survey and it had similar findings. It will be very interesting to see if the Bay Area and Seattle housing markets cool off at all in the next six months.


About Blind
At Blind we’re on a mission to bring transparency to the workplace. Transparency results in voice and voice results in change, often for the better. That’s why we created Blind, an anonymous social network for the workplace. Our user base includes over 50,000 employees from Microsoft, 35,000 from Amazon, 13,500 from Google, 10,500 from Facebook, 9,500 from Uber, 8,000 from Apple, 6,000 from LinkedIn, and 5,000 from Salesforce, just to name a few. With such a large user base of tech professionals, it makes it easy to quickly poll these employees about important and popular topics, such as this.

Image Credit: Pexels license, no attribution required.

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