A new report finds that more than three out of four renters in Greater Los Angeles want to move away. The analysis by Apartment List states that half of those people (49 percent) blame the metro's high housing costs for their wanderlust.
It sounds like a significant finding. When it comes to housing, a majority of Angelenos rent rather than own. And, as we've been reporting in recent years, rents in Los Angeles have risen far beyond the ability of the average resident to pay them. Still, a majority of renters across the nation want to move on to new frontiers, the site found.
"In San Francisco, 63 percent of renters — the highest of any metro in the country — cite the high cost of living as the reason they want to leave the region," according to the findings. "Renters in other West Coast cities, such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland, frequently cite affordability as their reason for moving."
Renters compose a generally transient population. Sixty-four percent of renters nationwide said they want to try a new city soon, according to the report, "Moving On: Why Are Renters Relocating?"
"Most people are planning to settle somewhere else at some point," says the report's author, Apartment List research analyst Sydney Bennet.
"In L.A., you have a lot of young people who want to try it out, last a few years and end up deciding to leave," she says. "You may love L.A. and may want to stay, but if you don't have the income you might end up leaving."
The biggest target destinations for Los Angeles renters are Phoenix and Las Vegas, which are "not too far away but definitely way more affordable," Bennet says.
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But Greater L.A., including Orange County, wasn't the metro with the greatest percentage of folks wanting to rent elsewhere. New York (83.2 percent) and San Francisco (82.8 percent) had Los Angeles beat, not to mention Rust Belt towns like Milwaukee (83.1 percent) and Detroit (80.7 percent).
And, while high rents in Los Angeles might be pushing people out, a strong job market is drawing them in. Apartment List found that Los Angeles was among the top three metro areas nationwide cited as destinations for renters in other towns.
"Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles are the most popular metros with renters nationwide," according to the report. "Atlanta was the third most popular metro, particularly popular with renters in Southern states."
The results were based on a recent survey of 24,000 renters nationwide and on Apartment List's own search data, Bennet said.