A whole lot of Los Angeles neighborhoods are unaffordable these days when you look at how big of a bite rent takes out of Angelenos' paychecks, and it all adds up to a pretty sad situation. The rental listings site Apartment List looked at US Census data from 2007 to 2014 and plotted out the percentage of Los Angeles renters who are "cost-burdened," meaning that they pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. They found that nearly 62 percent of renters in LA fall into that category, meaning it's probably difficult for them to afford other essentials.
Apartment List's analysis finds that rents in LA increased "relatively slowly" compared to cities like San Francisco or Seattle, but that even with the somewhat gentle increases, LA's sluggish wages (that sad green line below the red one, which represents rents) have not at all caught up, leaving people paying way more than they can afford in rent. Not too much of a surprise there, given that LA has the largest gap in the nation between wages and rents.
The number of renters who are forking over more than the recommended 30 percent of their income to make their rent has been hovering at or around 62 percent for the last few years, having steadily increased from about 57 percent in 2007.
In wealthy Santa Monica, Apartment List found that almost half of all renters are cost-burdened, says the Santa Monica Lookout, with more than 20 percent falling into the "severely cost-burdened" category, meaning that they spend more than half of their paycheck on rent. While that's not as rough as LA's total, the number of renters who are cost-burdened increased by 10 percent between 2007 and 2014; LA's rise was less dramatic, at least.
Spending more money on rent means having less money to spend on other necessary expenses and definitely having less money to save for something like a down payment on a house to get out of the renting game for good. Maybe that's why the greater LA area has the lowest homeownership rate in the nation, and a brand-new union to represent people who rent.
· Which cities and states have the most cost-burdened renters? [Apartment List]
· Which Los Angeles Neighborhoods Are the Most Wildly Unaffordable For Renting? [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles Finally Has a Union to Represent Renters [Curbed LA]