Los Angeles's high housing costs are definitely making it hard to live in the county (and especially hard to buy a house), and middle- and low-income workers are just running out of options; now those high housing costs may be driving business from the area and from the state. BizJournals reports that housing costs played a sizable role in Toyota's decision to move their operations from Torrance in LA County's South Bay to Plano, TX by the end of next year. According to a source with "inside knowledge about the move," the car company's trek to Texas "was really about affordable housing."
"That's what started the conversation. [Toyota] had focus groups with their employees. Their people said, 'We're willing to move. We just want to live the American Dream,'" says Albert Niemi Jr., dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and the aforementioned source.
That dream—to the extent it involves a home—is getting harder and harder to realize in Southern California, and is still far more feasible in Texas. Compared to Southern California, housing in Texas is an incredible deal: in Torrance, the median home costs $508,000; the median income is $76,000. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the median income is less—about $58,000—but the median house is far more affordable at just around $210,000. "They're paying the same salary," says Niemi. "So in real terms, they're going to triple the affordability of housing they can buy if they move to Texas."
· Here's the main reason Toyota is leaving Torrance [BizJournals]
· Basic Costs of Living Add Up to Three-Quarters of the Average LA Income [Curbed LA]
· 58.5 Percent of Los Angeles Renters Can't Afford Their Rent [Curbed LA]