Yes, most West Coast cities have crazy high housing costs and long has been the case. Seattle and Portland once were considered relatively affordable, but no more. Indeed, housing affordability is a sore spot all over the country. Places with “cheap” rents and mortgages also pay poorly.
It’s a real issue and calls for some creative responses, especially in making city cores affordable and attractive. “Driving to qualify” or pay the rent only adds to sprawl, greenhouse gases and the madness of long commutes.
But here’s another, little discussed aspect of “affordability.” I can show you in two charts:
In other words, housing is less affordable because most American workers are making less.
There are many ways to slice this baloney — the bottom three income quintiles have either stagnated or fallen since 1980 while the very top has skyrocketed and inequality has been increasing with every recovery. But an essential part of the discussion of housing affordability is poor pay.
Monday Reading: The astonishing story of the Federal Reserve on 9/11 | Daily Kos
Today’s Econ Haiku:
Luck of the Irish
For Apple, avoid taxes
Rotten to the core