House prices are rising, supply is low, and demand is high. Many workers can’t afford to live in the vicinity of where they work. Rising mortgage rates have further restricted the ability of many potential home owners to buy.
Even employees in the tech industry, who generally make six figures, would have house payments totalling more than 30% of their paycheck. Cities such as San Francisco and San Jose have median home prices over a million dollars, too high for programmers making about $122k annually.
Possible factors are that California has both high prices and a large amount of competition in the tech industry. These don’t account for the same trends occurring in other states with lower median prices and less industry competition. According to CNBC, “Less than half of programmers in Portland, Oregon, and Miami, can afford to buy the median-priced home.”
For those with lower paying jobs, including teachers and first responders, the effects are even more strongly felt. Metro areas, which are usually more expensive than suburbs, are out of the question. Police and firefighters are living in less desirable neighborhoods and commuting one to two hours to reach the station of their jurisdiction.