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Commute times rise along with the cost of housing in Silicon Valley

Living in counties further away from where people work is not uncommon as people search for greater affordability in outgoing areas.

September 03, 2019
  • Living in counties further away from where people work is not uncommon as people search for greater affordability in outgoing areas. The median sales price for single-family homes in San Joaquin County, was $380,000 in July compared to $660,000 and $950,000 for Contra Costa and Alameda counties, reflecting a premium to live closer to the inner Bay Area.
  • San Francisco is an anomaly for the Bay Area with both long travel times and a high living cost. However, this can be attributed to the high concentration of people in the city causing congestion, a common side effect of urban areas. 
  • Although demand for living close to where you work in order to shorten commute times remains strong, there is a trend of residents becoming more willing to sacrifice shorter commute times for cheaper home prices.
  • Over the last 5 years, residents in Contra Costa and Alameda counties have experienced some of the most dramatic changes in their mean commute time with increases of 20 minutes per week since 2013.
  • The live, work, play environment continues to become more popular in the Bay Area, but as home prices continue to rise, people are more willing to compromise on their commute times in order to achieve their homeownership goals. Moving forward, companies will need to find increasingly creative solutions to attract and retain employee talent in the face of growing commutes and elevated costs of living in the Bay Area. 

Source: JLL Research

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