If you want to work at and live near a billion-dollar tech company, it’s going to cost you. But less if you live in Los Angeles, rather than San Francisco.
A new study of rents and engineering salaries conducted by online rental-listing company RadPad Inc. of Culver City and online job-listing website Anthology of Seattle found that median monthly rents for one-bedroom apartments a half-mile from billion-dollar-plus tech companies took a larger chunk of paychecks in San Francisco than in Los Angeles.
Of the 10 San Francisco tech companies studied, mid- to senior-level engineers would be expected on average to pay at least 42 percent of their salary to rent apartments that close to where they work.
Because San Francisco is denser, less car friendly and better connected with mass transportation, it’s appealing for workers to ditch their vehicles and pay to live closer to work, said RadPad Chief Executive Jonathan Eppers.
The average $3,312 monthly rent for an apartment near a so-called unicorn in San Francisco is almost twice the $1,845 a month a tech worker would expect to pay in Los Angeles. The relative advantage of Los Angeles is clearer when factoring in salaries: The average annual pay of mid- to senior-level engineers in San Francisco is $135,000 compared with $118,000 in Los Angeles.
Granted, there are more billion-dollar ventures up north than there are here, and so there could be greater upward pressure on all sorts of living costs.
Locally, Snapchat engineers make an average of $125,000 a year. Because the company’s Venice offices are also in the heart of a booming residential market, that engineer would pay Bay Area-level rates for a nearby apartment: The $2,740-a-month rent in the area would match the 42 percent of salary paid by San Francisco tech workers.
“Snapchat has really changed the economics of Venice because they are paying a lot-higher wages,” Eppers said. “They are attracting highly skilled people and they are paying them a lot.”
On the lower end, an engineer working at Hawthorne’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, makes on average $107,500 annually, and with nearby apartments renting for $950 a month on average, after taxes just 23 percent of their salary would go for rent. Renting an apartment within a half-mile of SpaceX’s headquarters, of course, is an exercise in the hypothetical.
UBeam Inc. of Santa Monica said it would begin shipping its wireless-charging product within the next calendar year.
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