Yes, L.A. Is One of the Worst American Cities for Renters
L.A.'s high rents ($2,000 for a median-priced one-bedroom) and low vacancy rate (three percent) mean that our city is a nightmare for those on the market for a new apartment, according to a new study.
Two years ago, a study by the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate famously concluded that Los Angeles was the least affordable rental city in the nation because the gap between wages (the median individual take here is $28,555) and lease rates in L.A. was the largest that the researchers could find.
Since then, rents have continued to increase, and incomes have essentially remained flat. Now, a new report from personal finance site WalletHub places Los Angeles among its 10 "Worst Cities for Renters."
No surprises, here.
Of the 150 American cities analyzed for affordability, quality of life, vacancy rates, safety and other factors, L.A. came in 141st.
On specific metrics, we came in 141st for affordability, 108th for quality of life, and 125th for our vacancy rate.
Los Angeles ranked 129th for cost of living, 127th for job openings, and 77th for the number of households that spend at least half their income on housing.
Our best metric, interestingly, was safety, where we ranked 35th, according to data provided by WalletHub.
The best American city for renters, the site says, is Scottsdale, Arizona, with the worst being Oakland.
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The site says July is peak season for moving, and, according to a spokeswoman, "the share of U.S. renter households" increased "in 2015 to more than 36 percent — the highest since the 1960s."
These are the echoes of the Great Depression. The good news, depending on how you see things, is that L.A. is the midst of a building boom, which could add much-needed apartment units to the market.
Until then, hold fast.
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