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The Real-World Impact of Home Prices

Mounting housing costs are taking their toll on quality of life in Los Angeles, causing more than half of residents to worry they may have to move, according to a new study from the University of California Los Angeles.

About 55 percent of all Los Angeles residents have either considered moving from their neighborhood because of rising housing prices or have a close friend or relative who has, according to UCLA Luskin’s third annual Quality of Life Index. This is up eight percent from a year earlier.

Young people are more likely to have considered moving due to rising costs or to know someone who has, with almost two-thirds of those in each of the three youngest age cohorts answering “yes” to this survey question.

Among those in their 30s, almost three-quarters—about 73 percent—revealed they or someone they know has considered a cost-related move. Sixty-eight percent of those aged 18-29 and 65 percent of those in their 40s revealed the same.

Amid heightened concerns over rising housing costs, an increasing number of Los Angeles residents harbor concerns that they may become homeless, and a large majority support rent-stabilization laws.

At 27 percent, more than a quarter of Los Angeles residents say they have worried they might become homeless. This is a four percent increase from the previous year. The percentage is higher for the county’s youngest residents with about 41 percent of those aged 18 to 29 revealing concerns over homelessness.

Rent control is largely favored with 71 percent of residents overall expressing support. Nor is support for rent control limited to renting residents. While 78 percent of LA renters want rent stabilization, about 65 percent of homeowners support rent stabilization measures as well.

A majority of residents, about 68 percent, also support zoning laws that restrict new apartment construction to neighborhoods already zoned for multifamily housing.

While housing was a concern for residents, the Quality of Life Index revealed a declining quality of life in all categories over the past year. Cost of living, education, and transportation/traffic charted the greatest declines over the year.

Residents’ views of jobs and the economy declined slightly from the 2017 survey but remain higher than in 2016. This category is the only one that did not chart declines in both surveys since the initial one in 2016.

Zev Yaroslavsky, Director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, called it “troubling” that young residents revealed such negative sentiment about their quality of life.

“Historically, young people, especially in Los Angeles, could look forward to a great future, but today they have the highest level of negativity and anxiety, especially between the ages of 18-29,” Yaroslavsky said. “This should be a matter of concern to all of us.”

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.

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