If you’re at all familiar with the Los Angeles housing market, then you probably don’t need us to tell you that home prices here are high. But a new report from personal finance company SmartAsset helps to illustrate just how difficult it can be to buy in LA without an above average income.
The company measured how long it would take a family earning the median income (just over $50,000, according to Census data) to save for a 20 percent downpayment on a median priced home ($471,000). The answer? 9.38 years.
Only San Francisco residents have to patiently pinch pennies for longer. There, significantly higher median incomes are outweighed by median home values of $799,600. Saving for a downpayment takes 9.84 years.
Sadly, these numbers might actually be underselling the difficulty of saving for an LA home. For one thing, the study assumes people will be able to save a full 20 percent of their earnings each year—presumably while paying for rent and other expenses.
If able to do that, homebuyers may then struggle to afford monthly payments on the home they’ve saved nearly a decade to purchase. According to SmartAsset’s mortgage calculator, buyers would have to spend more than half of their monthly income on payments, even after that hefty downpayment.
Overall, California seems to be the state where homes are most out of reach to potential buyers. Of the cities studied in the report, four of the five where saving takes longest are located in the Golden State.