Study: S.F. Among Least Affordable Cities for Singles

San Francisco is the seventh most unaffordable city in the U.S. for unmarried people, according to a new analysis.

Oran Virincy/Flickr

Residents of San Francisco have long complained that the City by the Bay is a difficult town for dating and an unaffordable place to live. A new study quantifies both of these claims in depressing detail, and ranks San Francisco as the seventh least-affordable town for single people in the entire United States.

Boston, Massachusetts takes the top spot as the least affordable U.S. city for singles in an analysis of the housing gender gap in the 50 largest U.S. cities. But the study by apartment-browsing site RentCafe and real estate site PropertyShark singles out California as having six of the ten least affordable cities for unmarried people, and eight in the top 50.

“California singles are hit by far the hardest,” RentCafe author Balasz Szekely says in a lengthy blog analysis of the data. “Keep in mind that the Golden State has eight cities in the top 50, but the fact that six of them are completely unaffordable to singles (both in terms of renting and buying) is still a red flag.”

The study had set out to detail the gender gap in housing affordability — but found that housing in most cities is unaffordable for singles of both genders. Still, single women face a tougher challenge because they’re paid lower salaries. The analysis found that single women’s median income is 35 percent lower than men’s based on U.S. Census data.

The gender wage gap is slightly higher in San Francisco. The median single male salary in San Francisco is $50,928, for single women it’s $37,702. In other words, San Francisco women are paid about 74 cents for every dollar men are paid.

What’s even more depressing is that San Francisco is not even the least affordable city for singles in the Bay Area. The study ranks San Jose as the third least-affordable U.S. city for unmarried people, and Oakland as the fourth least-affordable city.

View Comments