Oh: Only 8% of L.A. Homes Are Actually Affordable

Los Angeles houses unaffordable

I guess this explains a lot.

Today’s bad news comes courtesy of the number-crunchers at the National Institute of Home Builders!

For their comprehensive survey of 246 metropolitan areas across the USA has found that homes in Los Angeles are the second-least affordable in the country, bested (or worsted?) only by our friends in San Francisco, where option-vesting techy types have sent property prices skyrocketing.

The Housing Opportunity Index looks at both the average income of residents and the property prices in the surrounding area. Reckoning we should only be spending 28% of our income housing, they look at the proportion of properties sold last year that the average person could afford.

In L.A., that number is a measly 8%.

Look: all the places you can’t afford to live.

It’s a combination of unexceptional family incomes (at $68,000 per household) and painfully high average property prices ($613,000). Compare with Colorado Springs, for example, where incomes are $77k per household, but homes sell for just $300k.

If you were looking for somewhere else in the Golden State, we’ve got bad news: of the 20 least-affordable metro areas in the U.S., all but one is in California. If you want an absolute steal, though, head to Elmira in New York, where 97% of properties are ranked affordable, with $71k incomes and, this can’t be right, properties going for just $98k on average. (There must be something wrong with this place, let’s be real.)

Elmira, New York – affordable, but possibly cursed?

Proposed solutions are pretty simple: build a ton more houses, stat, ideally where people actually want to live. The state’s own analysis of the problem suggests that, on top of current construction, we need to be building 274 more houses every single day, just to take the edge off our property crisis.

Fair enough. Anybody got a hammer and some nails? We’d better get started…

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