Do tech workers make enough to buy a house in the Bay Area?

Tech workers might seem to have it made — free meals, lavish parties, their own HBO comedy and the quarterly rush of excitement when stock option profits hit their Schwab accounts.

But are they paid enough to put roots down in the Bay Area?

About 60 percent of tech workers in an unscientific poll say “No.”

The survey by Blind, an anonymous messaging app used by thousands of tech employees, found a strong majority of techies at 13 Bay Area companies say they cannot afford to buy a home here.

Nearly 7 in 10 employees at Cisco, eBay and Intuit say they can’t break into the housing market. Even the majority of developers and supervisors at trillion-dollar valued Apple (63 percent), Facebook (51 percent) and Google (51 percent) say they can’t buy the American Dream in the Bay Area.

The survey suggests big compensation doesn’t translate into buying a Bay Area home. The median salary for Facebook employees ($240,000), Google parent Alphabet ($197,000) and Netflix ($183,000) are among the most generous in the U.S., according to a survey of 2017 compensation by Equilar.

But many feel soaring home prices have eclipsed soaring wages.

The median sales price for a home in the Bay Area last month topped $920,000. If you want to live near a major tech firm in Silicon Valley, be prepared to put in seven-figure bids and get rejected. Median sale prices in June for homes hit $1.32 million in Santa Clara County, $947,000 in Alameda County, $1.5 million in San Mateo County and $1.6 million in San Francisco.

Blind is an app allowing users to text openly about their companies — salaries, gripes, career advice and other gossip of workplace life. It claims over 10,000 users from Google, 7,100 at Facebook and 6,000 at Apple.

The voluntary survey asked one yes or no question: “I can afford to buy a house in the Bay Area.” The results were based on 2,300 responses from app users last week.

“Right now, out biggest users are tech employees,” said spokeswoman Curie Kim of the San Francisco-based Blind. “We want employees to be able to voice their opinions no matter what title they have.”

If they lived in any other place, the title might be “royalty.”

Per capita income in the Bay Area is twice the $49,246 national average.

Article source: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/08/03/do-tech-workers-make-enough-to-buy-a-home-in-the-bay-area/

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