What’s the True Cost of Living in San Francisco Today?

Golden Gate Bridge Photo Illustration

San Francisco Cost of Living Expenses

The cost of living in San Francisco has been on the rise in recent years. Many tech giants are building or leasing new facilities to expand their businesses. This has caused the cost of living to keep climbing, especially housing prices in San Francisco.

How much does it cost to live in San Francisco? Here are some facts about housing, renting, transportation, food, health care and other living costs in San Francisco.

Cost of Food

San Francisco has top-class restaurants, but eating out will cost you a lot even in places that don’t have world-class chefs. In one of the middle-class eateries in San Francisco, a meal could cost you about $40, which is almost twice the average for the country. To cut costs, you’re better off cooking your meals at home — but it’s not going to be as cheap as other cities.

The following data from smartassets.com reveals the following prices:

  • A gallon of milk = $4.85
  • A pound of chicken breast = $6.25
  • A pound of cheese = $7.01
  • A dozen eggs = $4.02
  • A pound of rice = $2.11

In general, the average cost of food in San Francisco is about 23 percent more than the country’s average.

Housing Prices in San Francisco

San Francisco naturally has high home prices. This is largely due to the many tech companies, both giants and startups, that have made Silicon Valley their headquarters. The average price of a home in San Francisco is over $700,000. This means existing homeowners have enjoyed the blessings of refinancing their homes, but would-be homebuyers may find it more affordable to rent a home in suburban areas.

Cost of Renting a Home

High home prices will almost always lead to a higher cost of rent. The rental rates in San Francisco are among the highest in the nation.

A two-bedroom apartment costs about $4,650 per month. This price is $2,000 greater than other cities like Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, D.C., that also have high rent.

The yearly rent for a two-bedroom apartment (over $55,000) is greater than the average annual income for a full-time worker in the U.S. This means renters must earn above $110,000 if they don’t want to spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing.

Transportation Costs

Most tech workers in the city have at least one car, but the cost of parking and fuel are quite high. Parking costs about $20 daily and over $200 for monthly payment within the city center. The price of a gallon of gasoline in San Francisco is about $3.56, while the national average is around $2.56. 

This means the price in San Francisco is 39 percent higher than the national average. To save money, it’s better to use a cable car or bus service for a monthly fee of $68. A pass for the BART train costs just $80.

The cost of living in San Francisco is obviously high, and it’s ranked as the 16th most expensive city to live out of 559 cities surveyed by numbeo.com. At Marcotte Properties, we appreciate the need for affordable housing for those who are living in or planning to move to San Francisco. We offer affordable housing units for rent in locations around the Bay Area. Visit our contact page or call 800-538-1724 for more details today.

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I have lived at Bart Plaza for 10 years. It is a nice, quiet, and clean place to live and the staff is very helpful.”

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