With a population of just over 1,000,000, San Jose is no second city to nearby San Francisco anymore, and its economic foundation is also one of the strongest in the entire nation.

In fact, San Jose’s real estate market has been one of the hottest in the U.S. over the past couple years, and incomes and job growth keep rising, trying to keep pace with expenses in the city. Blue Water Credit – San Jose compiled all of the pertinent data on the average person’s financial situation in San Jose, CA:

Credit and debt in San Jose

The average Vantage credit score in San Jose is 699. That’s nudged 1.77% higher since 2010 and ranks #11 of all 210 major cities in the U.S.

The average person in San Jose now has $4,833 in credit card debt. While that sits a modest #60 on the list of cities with the most credit card debt in the country, it’s actually a profoundly low number if we consider the average income and debt level (particularly with mortgages) for the average household in San Jose.

The average credit utilization rate (the ratio of available credit to debt balance) for San Jose residents is now 25.37%, which has declined by 11.33% (that’s a good thing, as a lower credit utilization rate is favorable) since 2010. In fact, San Jose ranks #10 in the nation out of 210 cities for that metric.

In fact, the delinquency rate (a measure of households with at least one debt three months overdue or in collections) is 16%. While that may sound high, it’s actually one of the best rankings in the country, and behind only wealthy Marin County and tied with San Francisco as the best in California. (For reference, the national average delinquency rate is 33%!)

Employment and job growth

As of December 2017, San Jose had an unemployment rate of only 2.7%. That’s significantly lower than the U.S. average of 3.9%, and also a drop from the 3.4% of San Jose residents without a job only a year early in December 2016.

Interestingly, the current unemployment rate in San Jose, while relatively low, is much higher than it was in mid-2017 when less than 1% of that city’s adult populace was unemployed.

Since work seems to be abundant in San Jose, where are its residents employed?

Financial activities 35,300
Construction 50,100
Information 80,000
Government 99,200
Leisure and hospitality 109,200
Trade, transportation, and utilities 142,100
Manufacturing 169,000
Education and health services 174,000
Professional and business services 230,400


San Jose now has approximately 332,574 housing units. While the city’s housing growth has benefited from recent annexation of several unincorporated areas, new construction of apartments, condos, and homes has ramped up, too.

San Jose also features 3.13 persons per household.

Rental market

Of those housing units, only 57.1% are owner-occupied. That’s significantly lower than the national average, speaking to San Jose’s high real estate prices and possibly transitory nature of its tech-worker residents.

The median rent in San Jose is now $3,522, which is astronomically higher than the median $1,446 rent for the entire United States.

For $3,500 a month in rent, you might anticipate that you get a fairly large living space. However, speaking to the urban density and escalating prices, the median price per square foot for all rentals in San Jose is only $2.41/sq ft.

The San Jose real estate market

The median sale price for all residential properties is now $865,000 in San Jose, including condominiums, townhomes, and single-family residences.

There are now approximately 2,400+ sales every month in San Jose, although that goes as low as 1,600 sales per month during normal seasonal lulls.

The median listing prices for all homes for sale is $919,000, with the median closing price an atmospheric $1,036.600 million.

Speaking to that, only 1.7% of For Sale listings in San Jose see a price cut or price reduction!

That pencils out to $594 per square foot for all new listings!

The San Jose real estate market has experienced an increase of 20.6% in home values over the last year, making it one of the hottest markets in the entire U.S.

As of spring of 2018, homes are sitting only an average of 34 days on market before being sold.

With those high home prices, it’s understandable that only 3.0% of homes in San Jose have negative equity, as well as the fact that only 0.4% are delinquent on their mortgage to date.


The estimated median household income in San Jose is now $101,940, which dwarfs even the healthy household income in California, $67,739.

It’s worth noting that the San Jose metro area also encompasses two counties, Santa Clara and San Benito. In fact, there is some income discrepancy between the two, as the median weekly income in Santa Clara County is $2,392, compared to only $870/week for residents in San Benito County.

What do people get paid in San Jose?

According to data from the Department of Labor, these are the average hourly wages in the city:

Computer hardware engineers $68.82 per hour
Software developers $63.95/hr
Registered nurses $58.02/hr
Financial analysts $57.52/hr
Accountants $48.59
Graphic designers. $36.82
Carpenters $29.99
Construction laborers $24.13
Dental assistants $23
Retail salespersons $14.83
Cooks, fast food worker $11.32

Expenses and spending

How are San Jose residents spending their money? This is a list of annual spending for the average San Jose citizen, and also the percentage share in their budget.




Personal insurance and retirement


All other

People living in San Jose have seen their energy costs skyrocket over the last twelve months, increasing by 10.1% in that period, compared to only 6.9% for the U.S. median.

In total, prices in San Jose have increased by 2.9% over the last year, which is still more than the U.S. median average of 2.1%.