Job Growth And Expensive Housing Run Hand-In-Hand

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November 04, 2016

If you’re planning on heading to a city that is booming with new jobs, be prepared to pay big for housing.

Zillow found that the most expensive housing markets are seeing a historically high share of national employment. The site defined “expensive housing” in four ways (highest home value, worst mortgage affordability, worst historic mortgage affordability, and worst change in affordability) and created lists of the top-10 metros for each criteria. It was found that nearly 20 percent of U.S. jobs are located in the cities on the lists.

Markets with expensive housing include San Jose, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento, Calif.

Whether strong job growth is the symptom or the cause of deteriorating housing affordability – are these markets less affordable because of strong job growth, or is strong job growth the result of something else making these markets expensive? – is somewhat of a chicken-and-egg question. Both explanations hold some grain of truth, and it’s naïve to entirely disentangle them.

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