California Today: Why Does It Cost So Much to Live in California?

by Mike McPhate

California is crazy expensive. But should it be?

The Upshot recently took a look at how much housing costs in various cities in the United States in relation to how much economists think it should cost. Not surprisingly, coastal California tops the list of the country’s most overpriced places.

As the chart shows, the worst discrepancy is the San Francisco metropolitan area, where a standard house should cost about $300,000 — but in reality is more like $800,000 (based on 2013 figures). Next comes cities and counties in coastal Southern California — basically a band of overpriced housing that stretches downward from Ventura to the San Diego border. … Read Full Story in the New York Times