Housing in Hillsborough is, by any standard, very expensive. The Town of Hillsborough's 2009 adopted Housing Element noted the following:
In February 2008, 39 homes were for sale in Hillsborough with an average listing price of $4.9 million and median listing price of $3.5 million.
The ability to afford ownership housing depends on current interest rates as well as household income. Even with federal government intervention that led to lower mortgage interest rates in 2008, purchasing the least costly home in Hillsborough in the first quarter of 2008 ($1,570,000) would have required an income of about $384,000.
State and federal housing policy holds that households that pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are overpaying. Data from Census 2000 indicates that 32.7 percent of all Hillsborough households were overpaying. 830 Hillsborough households (26 percent of 3,183 moderate and above-moderate income households) were paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing in 2000. At the opposite extreme, households with very-low incomes (less than 50 percent of the area median) are presumed to be sacrificing other necessities in order to meet their housing payments; many paid more than half of their income to housing in 2000.
Most Hillsborough households are owner-occupied: 3,518, or 95.5 percent. Of those, 479 households (13.6 percent) were of extremely low and very low income; and 514 (14.6 percent of owner-occupied households and 14 percent of all households in Hillsborough) had housing cost burdens equal to half or more of their income.
The population of Hillsborough and San Mateo County is aging. According to data from Claritas, one-fifth of Hillsborough's population was over the age of 65 in 2008. The number represents an increase of approximately 5% from 2000 and 15% since 1990. Of those over the age of 65 in Hillsborough, 9 percent were of low income households and 8.3 percent were of very low income households (households earning less than half of the Area Median Income). The proportion of elderly in San Mateo County is expected to grow, and housing for the elderly will be a continuing concern. Although many elderly can continue to live in their own homes, particularly if structural modifications are made to help them cope with the limitations that accompany aging, there will nevertheless be an increasing demand for specialized care facilities for the elderly. In addition, the lower income elderly owners may need financial assistance to modify their homes or to afford specialized care.
The table below indicates what is considered "affordable" housing by income for a three person household or less in 2007:While affordable housing may not affect a substantial percentage of the community, it is nonetheless an important issue for those it affects or can potentially affect.