Tech pros at major Silicon Valley companies say home ownership is a pipe dream, according to a new survey from Blind. When asked a very binary yes/no question about whether they felt a home of their own was within reach, 59 percent responded negatively.
This was a follow-up survey to Blind’s previous query about salary satisfaction, where 61 percent of tech pros think they’re underpaid. Blind notes a majority of its users are in Silicon Valley, so its findings are a good look at how area tech pros really feel.
Tech pros from Cisco top both of Blind’s lists: they feel underpaid, and they report home ownership is out of reach; eBay also ranks high on both lists, as does Pinterest.
Intel staffers feel underpaid, but rank just above average when it comes to the potential for home ownership (57.46). Google and Facebook do well in both surveys (tech pros at those two companies are satisfied with their pay, and feel home ownership is possible).
These findings are limited to Silicon Valley, and add kindling to the burning desire of many tech pros to leave the area. Blind points to a local CBS news piece about people departing San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and a LinkedIn study underscores the migration to other hubs such as Seattle or Portland.
Yet Silicon Valley is still the epicenter of tech. Even LinkedIn’s data shows it’s growing (just at a slower rate than other tech hubs). Tech pro salaries there are far better than average, but the Silicon Valley housing market is insane. Rent prices may be normalizing, but a Redfin study shows nine of the ten hottest neighborhoods in the country are in San Jose. The quote-unqoute outlier in its findings was Sunnyside, a San Francisco neighborhood. So it goes.
Redfin’s criteria for its “hottest neighborhoods” list includes median sale price, average sale-to-list purchase ratio, and the percentage of homes that sold above asking price. The TL;DR here is that homes are expensive, and people are paying well above asking price to get into them. This contributes to people with six-figure incomes being driven deep into debt – just to have an address in or around San Jose.
A big reason to avoid Silicon Valley is the cost of housing. When we caution tech pros away from the area, a huge factor is housing costs, which are usually better elsewhere (and you’ll still make great money).