Los Angeles Neighborhoods Offer Some Upward Mobility

A new analysis from the folks at real estate listings site Redfin finds that Los Angeles is among the top half of American big cities that offer neighborhoods with at least some upward mobility.

Sheesh, they'd better.

Rents are taking up 30 percent or more of your income, and the median home price on the Westside has topped $1 million. You're paying for some upward mobility here, right?

Redfin says L.A. ranks seventh among 20 top metros in the United States when it comes to the portion of the city with "a balanced home price mix," according to a statement.

That said, the slice of Los Angeles that has this mix is fairly small — 19 percent, according to the site.

But the details are sobering. Redfin says 74 percent of the market is unattainable for the middle-income households. Only 7 percent of our town is really, truly affordable for the middle class, it says. (That 19 percent slice offers a mix of affordability.)

Why is this important? The site explains:

 ... Experts say they’re good for society. A report from the Pew Charitable Trusts found greater economic mobility in neighborhoods with a wide range of incomes than in neighborhoods where incomes were mostly the same.

Redfin says it "tallied the affordability of millions of homes by comparing their sale price to the purchasing power of a local, median-income family."

Neighborhoods in cities were categorized as "mostly affordable, mostly high-end or a mixture of affordable and high-end," the site says. It used this information to compose its ranking.

Los Angeles Neighborhoods Offer Some Upward Mobility

There are a number of Los Angeles neighborhoods that display, like, zero upward mobility. They include Pacific Palisades, Cheviot Hills, Venice, Los Feliz and Beverly Hills, which all received a 100 percent unobtainable rating.

Affordable areas include Vermont Vista in South L.A. (100 percent affordable for middle-income families), Watts (81 percent), Boyle Heights (67 percent), Pacoima (64 percent) and South Los Angeles (61 percent), according to Redfin.

The U.S. city with the most-balanced mix was Boston, where 51 percent of the homes are affordable for middle-class dwellers, the site says. Seattle (31 percent), Washington, D.C. (30 percent), San Jose (24 percent), Denver (24 percent) and San Diego (20 percent) round out the top six.

If you're house hunting on a budget, it's going to be hard to find an upwardly mobile community in L.A. But don't lose hope.

"It’s not impossible to find these places," Redfin says. "It’s just really hard."

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