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Study: Orange County is 7th Most Expensive City for Tech Workers to Rent

Southern California ranks among the costliest regions of 50 major technology centers tracked.

by Jonathan Lansner, The Orange County Register / July 26, 2017
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(TNS) -- Southern California is a pricey place to be … even for well-paid technology workers and their bosses.

According to a study of U.S. and Canadian technology talent by the CBRE real estate brokerage, Southern California ranks among the costliest regions of 50 major technology centers tracked.

For example, CBRE analysts compared average wages in high-paying technology businesses to typical apartment rents.

Los Angeles had the third highest ratio of average rents-to-wages, with landlords getting 27.8 percent of an L.A. tech worker’s $95,600 annual pay.

That ratio was actually one-notch higher than the San Francisco Bay area, known for insanely expensive housing costs. There, typical rents equaled 27.2 percent of the average $123,100 salary.

Orange County ranked seventh at 24 percent of $99,200 average wage. San Diego was ninth at 22.7 percent of a $100,2000 wage.

Highest? New York City at 30.8 percent of $108,900 wages. Lowest? Columbus, Ohio at 11.3 percent of $92,500 salary.

Southern California is costly for bosses, too!

To gauge operating expenses, CBRE estimated labor and office rent costs for a hypothetical tech company with 500 employees in a 75,000 square-foot office in the 50 tech hubs.

CBRE estimated that this firm would cost $44.9 million a year to run in San Diego (eighth-highest); $44.5 million in Orange County (No. 9) and $44.4 million in Los Angeles (No. 11).

Priciest? The Bay Area, $57 million. Cheapest, Canada’s Vancouver at $24 million, in U.S. dollars.

One should note despite the high costs, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties employed 261,000 tech workers in the past year — up 48,000 since 2011! Combined, only the Bay Area had more technology workers than these Southern California counties.

©2017 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.