Mixer: High LA rents; are wages keeping up?

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MixerBannerAs cities go across the country, Los Angeles isn’t the most expensive. Rents are not as exorbitant as San Francisco or New York, but they’re pricey enough.

Average rents have been on a skyward trajectory for the few years following the financial and housing crisis. And that has people in town scrambling for cheaper areas of town in which to live.

Joe Mathews is California Columnist for Zocalo Public Square, an ideas exchange that publishes daily online, and Hillel Aron writes for LA Weekly. They both joined us for the Mixer.

Zocalo threw out this number: a more than 25 percent hike in LA rents just in the last decade. But there was a tiny, tiny financial crisis somewhere in there, and a housing bubble that burst in that time. So how are rents still up that much?

Downtown LA is seeing an apartment and condo resurgence. I don’t even know if you can call it that because, before the 1990s, people didn’t live downtown. And that gentrification is  affecting the people who’ve lived there longer than anyone else – the homeless.

And what about jobs and wages keeping up with those rents? Are people making more money, or are they borrowing more than they can afford to get a house that won’t be worth as much down the road?

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