New residents to the Bay Area are earning far more than the people they’re chasing out, pushing up home prices and highlighting the gap between owners and renters in Silicon Valley. Lower income workers moving out of the Bay Area were being replaced by younger workers making about $12,640 more annually from 2005 to 2016, according to a national study released by BuildZoom. The Bay Area income gap has accelerated from 2010 to 2016, with the average newcomer out-earning the typical former resident by about $18,700. Bay Area newcomers had a median annual household income of about $70,000, while those leaving had a household income of $57,400. About 60 percent of the newcomers had at least a four-year college degree, while about 50 percent of the outgoing residents had that level of education.
The Bay Area represents the extreme edge of a national trend: higher paid and educated professionals moving to large, coastal cities like San Francisco and New York, while lower paid workers are moving toward less expensive metro areas. This migration has driven up housing prices in coastal cities, while others in the Rust Belt have seen home prices drop.The median sale price for a single-family home in prime Bay Area counties has climbed for nearly six years. The median price for a home in Santa Clara County in February was $1.3 million, in Alameda County $750,000, in San Mateo County $1.45 million and San Francisco $1.5 million, according to real estate data firm CoreLogic