SLO County ranked third most expensive place to live

August 20, 2010

By KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo County continues to be third on the list when it comes to being the least affordable place to live in the United States, according to a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders.

Of the 277 metro markets evaluated in the study, only New York City and San Francisco were ranked less affordable than SLO.

The study focuses on median incomes and median home prices.

According to the study, SLO County’s median home price during the second quarter of 2010 was $359,000. With an average county family income of $72,500, only 31.6 percent of the homes in San Luis Obispo County were affordable to county families during that time.

In addition, SLO County continued to lead the nation as the least affordable smaller housing market during the second quarter of 2010. This was the fifth consecutive quarter that SLO County has received the dubious honor.

Syracuse, N.Y., with a median income of $64,300 a year and a median home price of $88,000 was rated the most affordable place to live in the country.


13 Comments

  1. Booty JuJu says:

    Neither the homeless nor the students are “skewing” the numbers, unless you believe SLO is the only college town in the United States. Housing prices here still have a long way to fall, which they will.

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  2. racket says:

    There is probably significant skewing of the income component due to our large number of students and homeless people.

    Miight change us from third least affordable to 20th least affordable if we factored out the students who often show as zero income, and the homeless who show little income if they show up at all.

    But maybe I am picking nits. My kids will get to own a home here when I die, but practically speaking, not until then.

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    • Cindy says:

      Are the students considered residents? If so you might have a point but the median income in this county is still very low unless you work for the gov, then it’s very high. Many of us generate income from outside the area to stay afloat.
      Easymoney is correct, standard essentials have alway’s been more expensive, when I moved here in 99 from N Cal, I was flabbergasted at the overall higher cost for groceries and the like. I guess it has to do with that extra 200 miles that they truck it in from.

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    • easymoney says:

      IMHO, two things come to mind:
      1) The high values of homes is partly due to the high incidence of wealthier retirees who have the income in the bank to spend on anything they want without taking out a huge high interest loan.
      2)The cost of living is higher here because we are rated as a tourist area. Why is gasoline 20 cents a gallon higher here right off of hwy 101 the main shipping corridor and much cheaper out in the desert hundreds of miles away from the refiners and shipping lanes? They get it because they can…

      The head of household jobs available in the private sectorin SLO County are next to nill, there is no industry clean or otherwise to speak of. The primary jobs in this county are for the State, the County, the colleges, the State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, or the prison. It is extremely hard to justify the lifestyle if you can’t earn a living wage that pays for the ever increasing cost of living here…

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      • zaphod says:

        The high value of homes is also partly due to developers swapping properties back and forth and revaluing upwards each deal, like Denver real estate when Neil Bush was a wheel in the Savings and Loan confidence operation that got out of hand :-)

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        • Cindy says:

          “he high value of homes is also partly due to developers swapping properties back and forth and revaluing upwards each deal”

          Sorry zaphod but I’m not on board here with your opinion. The inflated home values are the result of a bunch of criminal “banksters” and greedy mortgage brokers who assisted and qualified everybody and anybody for a home loan based on stated income alone. Supply & Demand inflated the bubble and the more “worthless bundles” Wall Street sold the more creative the means to supply the demand for those “touted ” (so called secured) bundles drove the market up. It was what I call a Free Market Driven builders, brokers & banksters paradise, everyone got rich or bailed out. Those who succumbed to all the predatory loan scheme’s realized short lived dreams while the foreclosure notices got nailed to their doors, NO?

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        • bulwark says:

          How exactly do home values become higher by developers swapping land back and forth? I’m just curious.

          Rising or falling real estate values are based on supply and demand. Period! Lots of people want to live here. There was a shortage of available housing through 2007 easily available money and prices skyrocketed. Also we had equity refugees from the urban centers that wanted their slice of our little county adding to the demand.

          Couple that with an organized local core of NIMBY’s that already “got theirs” to appeal every project, a county planning department that has been leaderless since Paul Crawford’s departure and a feckless Board of Supervisors and the new home process grinds to a halt. Make sure to add in a Sarah Christie for good measure.

          Now add current building permit fees in the county of aroung $60,000 +/- per residence and approaching $90,000 per residence in the City of SLO, voila you’ve got a cute gentrified little exclusive enclave of trust funders and government workers. When your kids get finished with college, they can just jolly well move to Sacramento or some other hell hole for any job opportunities or home ownership.

          Developers swapping properties! Really!

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          • zaphod says:

            Michael Wise, and Neil Bush, sold each other some downtown denver real estate every other week using Silverado Savings and Loan
            each separate transaction was at a profit next week sell it back and so forth. The inside the bank kind of robbery that began the S and L “crisis”
            Charles Keating also comes to mind because he, like Bush insists he had done no wrong.it was wise all along.
            the blog I linked to came up when I searched the first sentence, not my beliefs. sorry if this is a derail

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          • R.Hodin says:

            It goes without saying that every time a property sells the value increases because everyone tacks on their couple of percent fees. Parents of out-of-the-area Poly & Cuesta students know that it’s cheaper to buy a house for their kids and sell in 4 to 5 years rather than pay rent. This is a destabilizing factor and is exacerbates inflation.

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  3. easymoney says:

    Now, how about the real cost of living index?
    Home prices aside, just paying for essentials is more expensive here than other counties.

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  4. Arniearsekicker says:

    Ahhh…but ya gotta love paradise……….NOT.

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