If you dream of one day owning a home, you might want to sit on your hands a little while longer.
The latest edition of the annual "Middle Class Report" from real estate website Trulia found what you probably already know: Buying a decent house in Metro Los Angeles is damn near impossible for most people.
The website proclaimed that Los Angeles is the second least-affordable market in the nation, topped only by San Francisco. With a median household income of $53,284, the average Angeleno family can only afford a house that costs ...
... $276,000 or less.
And you know what you can get in the L.A. market for $276K: Pretty much nothing, particularly if you're looking at the core basin between downtown and the sea, south of the Santa Monica Mountains and north of the Santa Monica (10) Freeway.
Our market is simply impossible.
On top of that, as we've reported previously, investment groups are buying prime property with upfront, all-cash payments.
According to Trulia, only 23 percent of L.A. homes, or less than 1 in 4, are in the price range that's affordable for the average family. For the area covered by the 310 area code, that number falls to 15 percent.
Jed Kolko, the site's chief economist, says homes are less affordable for average Americans across America:
Affordability has worsened in the past year, as home prices have climbed faster than incomes and mortgage rates have risen.
But only New York and San Francisco are in the same league as L.A. NYC matches us with only 1 out of 4 homes being affordable for middle-of-the-road buyers. San Francisco tops us both with an affordability rate of 1 in 7 homes.
Seven of the 10 least-affordable housing markets are in California. They include Orange County (No. 3), San Diego (5) and Ventura County (6).
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Kolko suggests dusting off those hardhats and building new houses in places like Los Angeles:
Even having a college degree is no guarantee that homeownership is within reach in the priciest markets. There's no easy way to make housing more affordable, though new construction can help.
Either that, or we could all just move to Akron, Ohio, the most affordable market in the country. You could actually find a house there for less than you paid for your car. Really.