Inflation expectations through Treasury breakevens – a concept we just visited – are a decent take on the market’s opinion on the ‘cost of holding money’. Mortgages are, of course, the standard means by which people acquire houses – usually borrowing money for 30 years to pay off the cost of a home (see some […]
A couple of weeks back, we here at DQYDJ tried to get some Bay Area street cred with our screed on how Bay Area house prices make more sense than one might think (please read that article if you are genuinely interested in our model). After being informed by the readers on the Bay Area home site Burbed that our definition of the Inner Bay Area (the ‘Real Bay Area’) was too large, we’re back for another pass. Thanks to Burbed’s super-intelligent head editor Madhaus and a huge amount of comments we’re back with two calculators we’re titling “The Burbed and DQYDJ Real Bay Area Calculators!”. Since all Bay Areans hope for 7.2% annual home value returns (check it – doubling every ten years!), we hope everyone will enjoy this little demonstration of the absurd amounts of wealth that the place we call home generates.
The San Francisco Bay Area, generally agreed to include the nine California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma, is one of the wealthiest regions in the United States. From its powerhouse engineering and business schools to the Venture Capital firms in Menlo Park and Palo Alto; from the financial buildings in San Francisco to the tech firms in Silicon Valley, the region has an immense capacity for generating wealth (and a history of massive booms and devastating busts).
There is a part of the Bay Area, which I’ll call the Inner Bay (although I know it is sometimes called the “Real Bay Area”) which has an especially concentrated amount of wealth. That wealth is reflected in home prices which are among the top in the nation. In the Inner Bay, consisting of Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara County, it’s not unheard of for houses around 1,000 square feet to sell for close to a million dollars (or more, in places like Atherton, Saratoga, Los Altos and Palo Alto).
Here at DQYDJ we’ve rambled on recently about the affordability of homes, and even tried to convince you that when mortgage interest rates are low it’s not necessarily a good time to purchase a house. We’ve tried to make the point that affordability in Real Estate seems conditioned on affording payments instead of the actual purchase price of a home. That said, we left our readers hanging by not graphing that affordability with changing interest rates.
For a deeper background, please visit “Rooting for Price Increases and Low Interest Rates” for a description of the DQYDJ Median Home Affordability Index, and “Home Price Affordability Calculator” to play with the affordability numbers yourself.