Of course, we’re all excited to hear that Uber just agreed to purchase the Sear’s Building in Downtown Oakland.  While Oakland seems to finally be realizing the potential many of us have been predicting for too many years now, I worry that the increased cost of doing business here will clip the wings of our economic expansion.  Housing costs are rising far faster than median wages, and there is only so long we can keep pushing up the percentage of income going towards housing costs.

For a great graphic on how far the East Bay (among other areas) is behind on creating additional housing, check out a recent “map of the month” from our Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Bay Area Housing Production

Americans living in rentals spent almost a third of their incomes on housing in the second quarter, the highest share in recent history. Rental affordability has steadily worsened, according to a new report from Zillow, which tracked data going back to 1979.  A renter making the median income in the U.S. spent 30.2 percent of her income on a median-priced apartment in the second quarter, compared with 29.5 percent a year earlier. The long-term average, from 1985 to 1999, was 24.4 percent.

Source: Renting in America Has Never Been This Expensive – Bloomberg Business

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelmann recently crunched the numbers on the rise in home prices as tech hiring picks up:

Three weeks ago, Redfin published a report showing that one in four Silicon Valley home-buyers is looking to buy a home outside of Silicon Valley, up from one in seven in 2011. This digital diaspora promises to bring some of Silicon Valley’s wealth-creation to cities across the country, especially Seattle, Portland, Austin, Boston and Denver. It has already begun to increase the cost of living.

But exactly how many technology workers does it take to increase home prices in these cities? To answer that question, Redfin took the hiring of the four largest Internet-related companies — Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, in Silicon Valley and beyond — as a proxy for each metropolitan area’s overall growth in technology hiring. What we found is that for every 1% increase in technology workers, there’s a roughly half-percent increase in home prices above and beyond the national rate of appreciation.