If you go to the store like I do and buy groceries, everything has gone up this past year. I noticed that things that used to be $1.99 are now $2.29. That increase on every item adds up fast. The same goes for housing.
I remember Santa Barbara being the most expensive place in the state to live, yet we now rank number eight in affordability behind: Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco Bay Area, Napa, San Mateo, Sonoma and Santa Cruz. To buy a home in the Bay Area you need over $260,000 a year in income just to qualify. In Santa Barbara it takes over $160,000. Based on our quality of life in the area, I would say we get the better deal over the other areas that are more expensive.
It is not that Santa Barbara has gotten any cheaper to live in; it is just that other places have become more expensive. However, groceries go up everywhere and our housing has become a bit more affordable.