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Housing and Homelessness
Your guide to renting in this complicated — and expensive — place.

Only 17% Of LA Households Earn Enough To Buy A Home

A for sale sign outside in the daytime. There's a home in the background.
A for sale sign is seen near a house in South Pasadena on April 24, 2020.
(Frederic J. Brown
AFP via Getty Images)
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It’s no secret that buying a home in the Los Angeles area is expensive. But a new report shows that homeownership is only getting further out of reach for most buyers, with just 17% of L.A. County households earning enough to afford a median-priced home.

The numbers: The California Association of Realtors released its 2022 affordability report on Wednesday. The real estate trade association determined that local households needed to earn at least $192,800 per year in order to afford L.A. County’s 2022 median home price of $849,410. Those figures assumed buyers had enough money on hand for a 20% down payment.

The disparities: According to the report, about 25% of white households and 22% of Asian households in L.A. County could afford a median-priced home. Only 10% of Latino households and 9% of Black households earned enough to qualify.

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Changes over time: Home prices in the L.A. area have declined slightly over the past year, but interest rates have gone up, causing monthly mortgage, tax and insurance payments to soar to around $4,820, according to the report. Because of this increase, the share of L.A. County households that could afford to buy a home declined from about one-in-five in 2021 to one-in-six in 2022.

Why it matters: Demographers have pointed to unaffordable housing as a key driver in L.A. County’s declining population.

Go in depth: Here’s How LA’s Suburban-Style Zoning Contributes To Racial Disparities

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