Forbes Most Overpriced City: Santa Ana Makes the List

Santa Ana (December 13, 2011 from Forbes Article) Credit: David Liu/iStockphotok

SANTA ANA — A month and a half ago city officials in Santa Ana were crowing from the 8th floor of City hall about their fabulous ranking by Forbes as one of the most safest cities in the nation. On Friday, Forbes released another ranking which names Santa Ana. I’ve been digging through emails trying to find a press release from the city and I just can’t seem to find one.

Forbes has issued a list of the nation’s most overpriced cities, places where the cost of living–especially housing prices–are the highest compared to median income. Santa Ana is ranked as # 15.

According to Forbes the list was compiled by looking at housing affordability, using the Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) compiled by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. The quarterly index weighs median prices for homes sold against median income levels to determine the percentage of local residents who could afford to buy a home.

Next they assessed the cost-of-living index created by Sperling’s Best Places, to gauge the cost of food, utilities, gas and a variety of other everyday expenses in each area. Cities that clock a cost-of-living rank above 100 represent places where these goods cost more than the national average. Since some expensive cities are balanced out with high incomes, we factored in the median salaries for residents with a BA degree or higher to see just how far a paycheck actually stretches in each of these cities, using data from Payscale.com. Last, they included local unemployment rates collected from Moody’s Economy.com and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

From the Forbes article on the rankings:

Overall, Los Angeles took the top spot on our list this year (eight other California cities were also on the ranking). In LA and Santa Ana (#15) only 43% to 45% of residents can afford to own homes and daily livings costs closely trail New York’s in terms of priceyness. Up north, three Silicon Valley cities make our list: San Jose at No. 8, Oakland at No. 14, and San Francisco at No. 19.

“Coastal state cities are high-amenity cities and people are willing to pay more for those amenities,” explains Robert Helsley, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, specializing in real estate development and urban economics.

So congratulations Santa Ana, you’ve made it on to another list from Forbes.

  3 comments for “Forbes Most Overpriced City: Santa Ana Makes the List

  1. February 2, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I thought it interesting that none of the righthand blogs that crowed about the “safe city” moniker did not even touch this. Of course, these are the same blogs that accuse you of being a carpetbagger anytime you are the least bit critical of their sow’s ear… uh, I mean, silk purse.

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    February 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Jeff — you should know by now, it’s different if we report it. We’re a county blog but because we don’t live in Santa Ana, we’re not allowed to comment on it but others can launch a countywide blog without a problem.

  3. Jeannie
    February 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I grew up in Santa Ana. As a we kid I walked all over. I was safe. Now, I’ve been there taking pictures. Boy, do I have some scary story’s to tell you! Santa Ana is NOT safe! Only downtown area. Or if they all know you because you live there,now. WE that went to school together in Santa Ana are on Facebook, talking about this very thing. And how unwelcome we feel!In our own home town! I hope you would like a suggestion? Go on the Santa Ana Facebook and other web sites and tell the people that live in Santa Ana, how great Santa Ana is when they treat people good! So, they come into Santa Ana, they will spend much needed money in Santa Ana. No, shooting off guns, you don’t know who you are scarring! It just might be the money Santa Ana, needs!

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