Lower income families priced out of California housing market

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new study confirms a trend that many have suspected.

With a median home price more than twice the national average, the Bay Area housing market is so expensive, many low and middle income families simply can't afford to live here anymore.

It's an economic cycle that's driving low and middle income residents out of California. As home prices go up, those who can't afford them leave, while those who can take their place.

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"One million people net left California between 2006 and 2016," said Noel Perry, the founder of Next 10, a non-partisan think tank that conducted a study for Beacon Economics on demographic shifts in California over the past decade.

"The San Francisco Bay Area was the only area that had a net inflow of people and the reason for that was because of the increasing number of high wage jobs," explained Perry.

The study found disparate rates of wage growth among California workers over the past decade.

Wages rose just 17 percent for low-income workers, 29 percent for middle income and 43 percent for those at the high end.

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Deidre Joyner with Oakland's Red Oak Realty acknowledges many of her sellers are moving away, but those determined to stay are finding ways to finance, including getting loans from family members.
"If you get creative, I've been able to get people into houses," said Joyner, "And I also think part of it is not selling your family house."

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Richard Marcantonio with San Francisco's Public Advocates Inc says all Bay Area residents should be concerned about the changing demographics, including those at the higher end of the economic scale.

"Careworkers, nurses, teachers," said Marcantonio, "We're all impoverished when the people we need to fill those roles are not our neighbors."

Part of the issue, between 2011 and 2016, California has added just 171 homes for every 1000 people.

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