I did a very informal survey of friends and neighbors, including people who work in tech, on the industry’s role in the Bay Area. The first thing everyone mentioned was housing prices.
A myriad of factors have pushed up the price of Bay Area real estate, and a Starbucks salary can’t compete with a tech paycheck in a when it comes to the competitive rental market. And forget about buying a home: the median San Francisco home price is $1.61 million, according to Curbed.
A friend of mine once commented that San Francisco is a city of rich people with no one to pour their lattes. Many people, including me, have decamped to the cheaper East Bay or places further afield.
Even lovely, funky, spirited Oakland is not immune to the housing crunch. As San Francisco has grown more crowded and unaffordable, a flood of tech workers has brought high prices to Oakland buyers and renters as well, according to Zillow.
The Bay Area is no longer a place where a young person can live a bohemian life rich in ideas but short on cash. If this housing trend keeps up, young poets will no longer congregate at City Lights Books or split a tiramisu at Caffe Greco. And that’s a loss for the Bay Area.