Buy a House in San Francisco or a Neighborhood in Detroit?

October 23, 2019

Rising housing costs in San Francisco have become a growing issue, and a new study puts that into dramatic perspective: The median cost of a single home in San Francisco—$1,195,700—can purchase an average of 5.4 homes in the rest of the nation’s largest cities, a new study from LendingTree finds.

LendingTree researchers compared the number of median-priced homes a person could buy in each of the nation’s 50 largest cities with the cost of a single home at San Francisco’s median price.

The cost of one home in San Francisco essentially could buy an entire neighborhood in Detroit, or about 23 homes, the study finds.

While the median income in San Francisco is among the highest in the nation, the income-to-home price ratio is among the lowest, researchers note.

Researchers identified the following cities where the cost of a single-family home in San Francisco buys the most:

Detroit

  • Median home price: $51,600
  • Difference between the median home prices in the two cities: $1,144,100
  • Number of homes that can be purchased for the cost of a single home in San Francisco: 23.2

Memphis, Tenn.

  • Median home price: $103,700
  • Difference between the median home prices in the two cities: $1,092,000
  • Number of homes that can be purchased for the cost of a single home in San Francisco: 11.5

Milwaukee

  • Median home price: $126,300
  • Difference between the median home prices in the two cities: $1,069,400
  • Number of homes that can be purchased for the cost of a single home in San Francisco: 9.5