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Eight of the nation's least affordable cities are in SoCal: report

New report says eight of nation's least affordable cities are in Southern California
New report says eight of nation's least affordable cities are in Southern California 02:55

Though it's no secret that the Golden State is one of the priciest places to live in the United States, a new report shows that eight of the nation's twenty "least affordable cities" are found in Southern California. 

RealtyHop's Housing Affordability Index shows what the average American would need to earn to afford a home in their respective city as well as how much they would have to pay to maintain that ownership. California leads the way with three cities ranked in the top five. 

Los Angeles tops the list because of it's average listing price ($1.1 million) and the share of the area's average income ($78,671) that would need to be spent on home ownership (99.33%). The report estimates that the monthly cost of mortgage and tax payments would be a whopping $6,512.26. 

RealtyHop's housing Affordability Index which shows the five least affordable cities and the five most affordable cities in America.  RealtyHop

Behind the City of Angels are Irvine at No.3, which also touts the nation's most expensive median listing price at $1.475 million, and Long Beach at No. 5. 

Surprisingly on the list and sitting at No. 19 is the once very affordable Riverside, where the average listing price of $631,000 would require more than 52% of the $86,104 average household income to maintain. 

An unexpected boom in interest in the Inland Empire, paired with interest rates hovering around 7% have made the area one of Southern California's priciest places to live, a distinct change from the past. 

"it's just too expensive," said Jacqueline Ortega, who just bought a home in Riverside. "You pay your mortgage and by the end of the week or month, you're left with so much you can't go out on vacation, you can't do much. You just work to pay."

RealtyHop's index echoes that sentiment, reporting that the average monthly cost for homeownership would be just under $3,800. 

UCLA Professor Stuart Gabriel, with the school's Ziman Center for Real Estate, says that Southern California is so pricey for a slew of reasons, including the very desirable coastal land. 

"We as Californians should expect that people looking for affordable housing are going to migrate to other parts of the country," Gabriel said. 

He says that there isn't currently much on the market because of the current interest rates, but that may soon change. 

"We expect to see more housing brought into more affordable parts of California, like the Central Valley and the Inland Empire," Gabriel said. 

Also on the list, are Anaheim (No. 7), San Diego (No. 8), Santa Ana (No. 12) and Chula Vista (No. 14). 

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