Renters in Los Angeles have it bad, but not quite as bad as their counterparts in Miami, San Diego, and Manhattan, according to Forbes. Those cities (yes, one’s a borough, but it’s their study not ours) were the only ones to outrank LA on the magazine’s annual worst cities for renters list.
LA renters might be alarmed to note that this year’s fourth-worst ranking is one spot worse than last year, when the city placed fifth (oddly, the second, third, and fourth-place cities from last year all fell out of the top five on this year’s list). Still, one must take comfort in knowing that it gets worse—right?
The list is based on four different metrics: average monthly rent (in LA, that’s $1,938), change in rent between 2015 and 2016 (it went up 2.4 percent in that time), vacancy rate (a low 2.9 percent), and share of household income spent on rent.
Forbes gave that final category the highest weight, and that helps to explain why Los Angeles fared so poorly. At 37 percent of income, renters here spend considerably more of their incomes on rent than the 30 percent level that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers to be the threshold for a cost burden.
LA renters, in fact, spend more of their income on rent than do those in first place Miami. The only other city in the top 10 where renters spend more of their income on rent is Manhattan, where the number is an astonishing 54 percent.
So let’s be optimistic. Yes, renting in LA is tough, but at least the average tenant isn’t putting more than half of her income toward rent. And, while rents are rising, they aren’t rising as quickly as they are in Sacramento, where they increased 10 percent between 2015 and 2016. In LA, that kind of bump would be equivalent to nearly $200 per month, on average. Yikes!
Is any of this working? Okay, well, we tried. Sorry renters, we feel for you.