Average Apple employee lives in a home five times more valuable than average U.S. home

Workers at Apple, Google, and Facebook live in pricier homes than other Bay Area workers and have faster home value growth than other workers, according to Zillow, a real estate and rental marketplace.  The average Apple worker now lives in a home that is more than five times more valuable than the average U.S. home.

The gap has widened in the last five years. In 2010, the average Apple worker's home was worth three times as much as a typical U.S. home, according to Zillow.

In finding that home-value appreciation for tech workers from Apple, Google, and Facebook outpaced that of their neighbors in Silicon Valley, Zillow looked at census data to see where employees at the tech companies' Silicon Valley headquarters live, and then compared their home values to those nearby. 

"This analysis highlights the widening wealth gap between tech company employees and other U.S. workers; a gap that is putting increasing pressure on housing markets where tech companies are booming," says Zillow’s chief economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell. 

The Zillow analysis found:

  • The typical worker at Apple's Cupertino, California, headquarters lives in a home that is worth about $1.14 million, about $241,000 (27 percent) more than the median home in the already-pricey San Jose metro area and $380,000 (50 percent) above the median home value in the San Francisco metro area.
  • Workers at Google and Facebook headquarters – in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, Calif., respectively – lived in even more valuable homes. The median home value among Facebook workers is $1.25 million, and the median home value among Google workers is $1.28 million.
  • The value gap between Silicon Valley techies' homes and their neighbors' homes has been widening recently, especially for Apple workers.
  • Apple workers' home values took off after the first iPhone was released in June 2007, when Apple's stock price rose, increasing the wealth of many employees.
  • Prior to summer 2007, the typical Google employee lived in a home that was 37 percent more expensive than the average San Jose home; since summer 2007, that gap has widened to 39 percent.
  • Similarly, prior to summer 2007, the typical Facebook worker lived in a home that was 31 percent more expensive than the typical San Jose home; since summer 2007, that gap has widened to 33 percent.
  • Prior to summer 2007, the typical Apple worker lived in a home that was 13 percent more expensive than the typical San Jose home; since summer 2007 that gap has widened by 6.4 percentage points to 20 percent.
  • Zillow used data from the U.S. Census Bureau on where workers live and work across California's Bay Area, and combined it with Zillow's Living Database of All Homes to compute a median home value for workers who work at the Apple, Google, and Facebook campuses in the Silicon Valley. 

(The “Apple house” graphic is courtesy of 123app.com.)