Los Angeles is the second least affordable place to buy a house in the US (after hellish San Francisco), and it's getting less affordable, and when you factor in other cost of living expenses, it'll gobble up three-quarters of the average worker's salary. New data from Trulia finds that the average-earning Angeleno has to pay 59.6 percent of their monthly salary toward the average mortgage as of August 2015 (assuming 30-year loan, 4 percent interest rate, property taxes, and insurance). That's up from 54.4 percent just a year ago.
Then Trulia factored in the costs of utilities and of commuting—Los Angeles has relatively low utility costs (since it's so temperate) and relatively high commuting costs (duh), but overall it's only the eighth most expensive US city for those other expenses. Still, added all together, average mortgage, utilities, and commuting add up to 74.5 percent of the median income earner's wages. That leaves 25.5 percent over for everything that isn't housing yourself, getting to your job, and keeping the heat and lights on. So buying is pretty much for the rich in LA these days. Renting, on the other hand, is juuuuuust the tiniest bit more affordable. Such a relief.
· Nickeled and Dimed: How Commuting Costs and Utilities Affect Middle-Class Housing Affordability [Trulia]
· The Average Angeleno is Now Paying Nearly Half Their Income Toward Rent [Curbed LA]
· Is There Anywhere You Can Still Get a Deal on a House in Los Angeles These Days? [Curbed LA]