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Week of June 10th-Baby bust: Bay Area housing prices go up, births go down

June 10, 2018

“Raising a child is a really expensive proposition,” said Zillow economist Sarah Mikhitarian, “and in these markets where home prices have grown really, really quickly … it’s making it really difficult to afford housing, and that could be delaying having children.”

Nationally, on average, every 10 percentage point increase in home values was associated with a 1.5 percentage point drop in birth rates for women ages 25 to 29, according to the study, which chose that group as the age when women are most likely to be considering having children but do not yet own their own home.

But the drop in births was even more pronounced in the Bay Area. In Santa Clara County, home values rose 58 percent between 2010 and 2016, while the fertility rate of women ages 25 to 29 dropped 20 percent. In Alameda County, home values rose 60 percent while the fertility rate dropped 24 percent. And in San Francisco, home values rose 61 percent while the fertility rate dropped 22 percent.

Nationally, the birth rate for women ages 25 to 29 was 97.9 births per 1,000 women last year — down 4 percent from 2016 and a record low for the age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vital Statistics.  Read the article

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