Why Is L.A. Housing Really Really Ridiculously Expensive?

It Costs A Lot to Live in Southern California. But Things Could Be Worse—and There Are Ways to Make Them Better.

Los Angeles is the second-most expensive housing market in the country, behind the Bay Area. It’s a situation, said Wall Street Journal and Economist contributor Lauren Schuker Blum, of “housing misery.” Blum was moderating a panel on what makes Southern California such an expensive place to live—and what, if anything, can be done to lower the cost of housing here.

USC Lusk Center for Real Estate director Richard K. Green told a large crowd at the Petersen Automotive Museum that the problem is not endemic to L.A. None of the world’s 20 largest metropolitan areas have affordable housing. In Los Angeles, the ratio of median income to median home price is 7-to-1; a 4-to-1 ratio is in the neighborhood of affordability. “We’re really bad, but if you want to feel better, there are places that are worse off,” he said. That …

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