Liberal Cities Like L.A. Face Much Higher Housing Prices

Liberal Cities Like L.A. Face Much Higher Housing Prices
jondoeforty1/Flickr

The Democrat-Republican divide often comes down to the difference in how we believe America can best prosper. Democrats say the collective power of the people can protect the financial interests of the everyday worker. Republicans often argue that freedom from government fosters economic well-being.

It turns out the Democrat way of doing things doesn't seem to help middle class citizens when it comes time to make the biggest purchase of their lives.

More often than not, left-leaning areas like Los Angeles suffer worse housing affordability (actually, we're the worst), according to real estate website Trulia:

Turns out Gov. Jerry Brown or even his predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the most liberal Republican ever, can't save us from monstrous property prices this Halloween season.

L.A. is one of 28 "dark blue" markets in which Democrat Barack Obama trounced Republican Mitt Romney for president by at least 20 percentage points in 2012. Prominent dark blue cities also include New York and San Francisco.

Guess what else they have in common?

Yes—they're the most unaffordable cities in America when it comes to housing, not only according to Trulia but also according to other reports we've highlighted in the past.

The website says that these "blue markets have lower home ownership and greater income inequality than red markets."

Come again? Trulia:

Sure, households in blue markets tend to have higher incomes. But those higher incomes are not enough to offset higher home prices. Our middle-class affordability measure, which reflects the share of homes for sale within reach of a median-income household, is significantly lower in bluer markets. 

Liberal Cities Like L.A. Face Much Higher Housing Prices
Trulia

The only red area to buck that trend was overpriced Orange County, which voted for Romney even though it is technically on the fence and quickly turning blue when it comes to party registration.

Where did the Democrats go wrong? Trulia says it's not clear. Some policies benefit red-state home buyers more while others benefit Democrats.

The site looked at 100 top metro areas in the United States to come to its conclusions. On average, dark blue areas saw $227 per-square-foot costs while red zones benefited from $119 per-square-foot prices.

The housing crisis affected blue and red states almost equally, Trulia said, but affordability was at its lowest in places like Los Angeles.

Our theory is that no one wants to live in red communities (Knoxville? Tulsa?), putting upward price pressure on places like L.A., New York and San Francisco, where everyone and their mother wants to move.

Are we wrong?

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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