Tech News & Insights

Many Tech Pros Can’t Afford a House in San Francisco, Seattle

Tech pros can pull down hefty salaries—according to the latest Dice Salary Survey, they earn an average of $93,244 annually. But what if that’s not enough to buy a house in their hometown?

According to the latest (anonymous) survey by Blind, some 59.24 percent of tech pros can’t afford to buy a house in the Bay Area. In Seattle, it’s almost as bad, with 47 percent of tech pros reporting an inability to purchase a home of their own.

(Some 3,600 tech pros from 21 companies in the Bay Area responded to the survey, along with 1,900 tech pros in Seattle; the survey was conducted between Feb. 23 and March 1. As with other Blind surveys, the anonymous nature of the platform makes it impossible to determine if any respondents are lying about their status; nonetheless, given what we know about high real-estate prices in these two cities, it seems logical that a hefty portion of tech pros can’t afford to buy.)

As usual, Blind also breaks down its results by company—and the results aren’t pretty. Some 75.64 percent of Tesla employees in the Bay Area reported being unable to buy a house, topping that particular list; Oath/Verizon Media came in second (with 74.36 percent) followed by Cisco (74.11 percent), eBay (67.66 percent), Nvidia (66.67 percent) and VMware (65.82 percent). Take a look at the full list:


On the other end of the scale, only 45.90 percent of Intel employees reported difficulty with affording homes in the Bay Area, just below Airbnb (51.69 percent) and Salesforce (51.81 percent).

In Seattle, things aren’t much better, with 49.54 percent of Amazon employees reporting the ability to purchase a home, just ahead of Microsoft (45.40 percent):


“The issue is many people who live in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area don’t make enough to afford to buy a home so they are stuck renting,” Blind wrote in a blog posting accompanying the data. “The same situation applies in Seattle too, though to a lesser extent.”

For years, various studies have shown tech pros fleeing the Bay Area, headed for Portland, Seattle, Sacramento, Denver, and other cities. The Dice Salary Survey revealed that, despite high salaries in Silicon Valley, the equally high cost of living can erode even the most generous payouts. With tech salaries plateauing, some tech companies have shifted to offering generous perks and benefits in lieu of additional cash—but free snacks and a golden healthcare plan, while wonderful, can’t serve as a down payment on that one-bedroom in Mission Bay.

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