Only 1 in 5 Angeleno Renters Say They Can Afford a Home

Some Angelenos have stopped dreaming about buying their first home.
Some Angelenos have stopped dreaming about buying their first home.

It appears that the American dream of owning a home is all but dead. And according to a new survey, one of the cities where the dream has died the hardest is, of course, Los Angeles.

Real estate website Zumper last week released the results of its survey of more than 6,000 U.S. renters. The study looked to determine the home-owning aspirations of the average American, and in Los Angeles, nearly 90 percent of the respondents indicated that they wanted to own a home, while nearly a quarter of them said they could afford a mortgage in the city, said Zumper spokeswoman Crystal Chen.

A median home price of $530,000 in the Los Angeles market can have that effect — especially when the median individual income is a woeful $28,555.

Nationwide, the survey found that only 71 percent of renters believe the American dream still involves owning a home.

"Many are not yet able to afford a down payment in the city they currently live in," according to the report that accompanies Zumper's survey results. "Many of these cities were on the West Coast, notably San Diego and Los Angeles, where the gaps between people who wanted to buy a home and those who were able to were 71.49 percent and 66.96 percent, respectively." 

This comes as American home ownership has dipped to its lowest point in 20 years, according to the U.S. Census.

The nation's housing crisis, at a critical level in L.A., seems to have affected younger, millennial renters the most. For a generation that has had to defer home ownership, even having an apartment all to oneself can seem impossible — 62 percent of millennials said they lived with someone else.

Older folks haven't fared much better, however. Nearly one in five (16.9 percent) of renters reported they have previously owned a home. The median age of this group was 47, Zumper reports.


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