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Affordability Is Driving Some Professionals Out of the City

If you’re a teacher, you probably don’t live in the same city where your school is located. The same goes for first responders, restaurant workers, and doctors. In fact, the majority of professionals on whom we depend every day are unable to afford homes in our nation’s largest markets, according to a Trulia report [1]. And the situation seems to be worsening, the company notes.

IT pros aren’t immune to the problem either, with the majority finding most markets out of their price range as well, Trulia says.

Utilizing the most current median wage data for each occupation group from the Labor Department’s [2] recently rolled-out employment report, Trulia determined the share of for-sale homes in each market that are affordable to each worker category. Simply put, the company defines affordability as a debt-to-income ratio of 31 percent or less, meaning a person’s monthly house payment would eat up no more than 31 percent of their paycheck.

With that in mind, here are some of Trulia’s findings:

Compared with last year, teachers are worse off or the same in 85 of the largest 93 metropolitan areas, where the share of affordable listings dropped or remained unchanged. In the eight metros where the share of listings they can afford went up, only four of them did so by more than 1 percentage point

First responders have the hardest time finding a residence they can afford in pricey California cities. Even though they earn upwards of $100,000 in San Francisco and San Jose, for example, they can afford just 2.4 percent and 6.6 percent of current listings, respectively.

The lowest wage earners amid the occupations analyzed, restaurant workers still confront the biggest home-affordability challenges. In 61 out of 93 markets this year, the share of homes they can afford is in the single digits. That compares with 56 markets in 2017.

Commonly working in tech-centric hotspots like San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Seattle, computer programmers are priced out of the majority of homes in these markets too. Six-figure incomes notwithstanding, they can only afford 4.8 percent, 11.8 percent, 19.7 percent, and 39 percent of available abodes, respectively.