San Francisco housing costs are pricing startups out of their dreams

San Francisco housing costs are pricing startups out of their dreams
Credit: Shutetrstock

When it comes to bringing your startup from your garage to the masses, the obvious choice is to up sticks and head for the bright lights of San Francisco. However, the likelihood of a lone entrepreneur or small team being able to set up shop in Silicon Valley is becoming less likely with the rising cost of living.

In most major cities, like London or New York, this can be solved by moving farther out but still close enough to a transit line to commute in and out of the city center. As this new map details, that trick won’t save you much in San Francisco. Published by property company Estately, the map indicates the rental prices along the Bay Area Regional Transit (BART) and Caltrain lines.

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Credit: Estately

Looking at data from the last six months of house sales in San Francisco, Estately broke down the cost of living in each area per square foot and it’s pretty bad. If you want to buy a home for a reasonable price, you’ll need to go almost an hour away from downtown.

That will set you back approximately $219 per square foot in the Pittsburg/Bay Point area or if you’re feeling a bit more flush, you could pay an extra $100 to get two stops closer.

The rental market isn’t much better. Just last week, a story went viral about a man who is living in a homemade pod for $400 a month because the rent in San Francisco was just beyond his means.

Living in a 8 x 3.5 foot box might sound unappealing but when you consider that the average price for a one bedroom apartment in a decent location is nearly $4,000 per month, your opinion might be swayed. If you’re willing to share an apartment with strangers, you’re still looking at a minimum of $1,000 monthly.

The situation is similar in a lot of cities around the world but the housing crisis in San Francisco seems to be more relentless and with its obvious appeal for dreamers and conglomerates alike, the influx of people isn’t likely to stop anytime soon – no matter how many cities claim to be ‘the next Silicon Valley.’

It’s not necessarily the tech world’s fault though. As The New York Times previously reported, the authorities in San Francisco have made it as difficult as possible to build new property in the city.  Speaking to the New York Times, Scott Weiner, a city supervisor said:

“Our approach to housing in San Francisco is very dysfunctional… The system is intentionally designed to make it as difficult as possible to build new housing.”

So while the steady influx of hopeful startups isn’t helping the crisis – neither is the city of San Francisco.

Bay Area Home Prices by Transit Stop on Estately

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