The is an excellent US News & World Report article about cost vs. value in real estate: what you get for what you pay in different cities. This article rated San Francisco #1 in its list of top 10 productive/valuable cities:
Here is what they said about the City:
10 Pricey Cities That Pay Off
by Matthew Bandyk
Thursday, June 25, 2009
“1. San Francisco. With the fourth-highest quality of life and the highest trade productivity on Albouy’s list, the San Francisco area — which includes Silicon Valley — comes in first on the list of most valuable cities. There are high wages, but even higher housing costs. Albouy found that housing costs are pushed so much above the wage level because San Francisco residents enjoy a premium beyond income, such as great weather, a thriving local arts community, and lively neighborhoods. But the business aspects of San Francisco outshine even the quality of life. Albouy says it’s often thought that small cities where workers earn lower wages, like Boise, Idaho, are where businesses should start because costs like hiring and renting a building are so low there, relative to cities like San Francisco. But low prices also mean low quality. “Boise is a terrible place to do business, and the low wages are a sign of that,” he says. Compared to Boise, “San Francisco has a highly productive workforce,” he says.”
Read the rest of the article here.