National Low Income Housing Coalition says it takes a household income of $55,920 a year just to afford an average, two-bedroom apartment in L.A. That's just about the same as the county's median household income ($56,241), and it's more than the national median household income ($51,324). If you're "middle class" in Los Angeles, then, you get to live like a college student.
And, as you can imagine, it takes considerably more cash in order to buy just an "average" house in this market.
And by average we mean a median-priced, $481,900 home, which, in Los Angeles, will be a double-coyote fixer-upper in a challenging neighborhood. (Don't blame the messenger. You know this.)
Mortgage site hsh.com recently looked at National Association of Realtors median-home price data and calculated 20 percent down payments, insurance premiums and tax bills to figure out how much money you'd have to earn in order to buy a median-priced home in each of 27 large U.S. cities.
Not surprisingly, the $96,513.65-per-year household income it would take to get a such a home here put L.A. in third place for priciest housing market, according to hsh.com.
And, not surprisingly, we were only beat out by other California cities: No. 1 San Francisco ($145,361.06 a year in income) and No. 2 San Diego ( $101,682.60). No. 4 on the list was New York ($92,271.49), followed by Boston ($84,475.91).
The site says L.A. housing price increases led the nation in the third quarter of 2014:
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Affordability took a huge hit in the L.A. metro area during the third quarter as the required salary increased by nearly $10,000. The small decline in rates was no match for the huge quarterly price increase, the largest quarterly gain of all the 27 metro areas on our list.
This is sad because, while the prospect of home ownership has been beaten out of many middle-class Angelenos, it only takes a near-median $51,246.61 to buy a national-median priced home, which would set you back $217,300, hsh.com says.
We can always dream.