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LA Tops Study As Least Affordable US Housing Market

LOS ANGELES ( — About one in four households in Los Angeles spend over half their income on housing, according to a study released Thursday.

Researchers with the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University behind "The State of the Nation's Housing 2014" study ranked Los Angeles as the least affordable metropolitan area in the U.S. due to its high rent prices and housing costs.

Over half of all LA households spend at least 30 percent of their income on rent or mortgage payments, while half of all renters nationwide are "cost-burdened" - meaning they spend at least 50 percent of their income on rent - according to the study.

The rest of the state didn't fare much better: researchers say seven of the 10 U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest share of cost-burdened households are in California, including the Inland Empire, San Diego and Ventura County.

Although the housing industry saw some gains in construction, home prices, and sales in 2013, household growth is still recovering from the effects of the recession, the study found.

Analysts say the housing market's future could be in the hands of young "Millennial" Americans, who continue to live at home after being saddled with higher-than-ever student loan debt and falling incomes.

An estimated 2.1 million more adults in their 20s lived with their parents last year as student loan balances increased by $114 billion, the study found.

"[Millennials] are appearing in our study very constrained both by low incomes coming of age in a tough economic time, and also being constrained more and more by student loan debt," Research director Dan McCue told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO

Click here (PDF) to read the full "State of the Nation's Housing 2014" study.

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