Los Angeles

LA Entry-Level Teachers Must Spend More Than 85% of Income on Rent, Zillow Finds

The situation is a bit better for teachers in the Riverside metropolitan area, according to Zillow.

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Zillow, the Seattle-based online real estate database company, reported Tuesday that entry-level teachers must spend more than 85 percent of their income on a median-rate rent in the Los Angeles region.

The company found that, even while home value growth slows, teachers across the country are struggling to pay the rent. Entry-level teachers cannot afford the typical rent in 49 of the 50 largest U.S. markets -- Pittsburgh being the only exception -- and these teachers would need to spend more than half of their salaries on market-rate rent in 19 large markets.

Nationally, it would take 46.8% of a typical starting teacher's salary to pay the median rent. This improves to 35.6% for a mid-career teacher -- still above the generally accepted 30% threshold for housing costs to be considered affordable -- and 26.6% for the highest-paid teachers.

Teachers who own a home are in a better position, due in part to the benefit of low mortgage interest rates. The typical mortgage payment is affordable for starting-level teachers in 31 of the top-50 metro areas. However, this assumes they have managed to put 20% down -- hardly a given -- and additional expenses such as property taxes and homeowner' insurance will eat into that income.

In the Los Angeles region, the median rent is $2,836 and the monthly mortgage payment on the median home is $2,410. Entry-level teachers spend 85.1% on the typical rent, compared with 52.2% for mid-level teachers and 39.6% for the highest-paid teachers, Zillow said.

For those who own a home, L.A.-area entry-level teachers spend 72.2% on the median mortgage payment, mid-level teachers spend 44.3% and the highest- paid teachers spend 33.6%.

The situation is a bit better for teachers in the Riverside metropolitan area, according to Zillow. The median rent is $2,017 and the monthly mortgage payment on the median home is $1,370, meaning entry-level teachers spend 60.5% on the typical rent, compared with 34.6% for mid-level teachers and 26.9% for the highest-paid teachers.

For those who own a home, Riverside area entry-level teachers spend 41.2% on the median mortgage payment, mid-level teachers spend 23.6% and the highest-paid teachers spend 18.8%.

Nationally, it would take 46.8% of a typical starting teacher's salary to pay the median rent. This improves to 35.6% for a mid-career teacher -- still above the generally accepted 30% threshold for housing costs to be considered affordable -- and 26.6% for the highest-paid teachers.

Starting teachers literally cannot afford the typical home or rental in San Francisco or San Jose -- median payments are greater than 100% of a starting teacher's salary in both metro areas, according to Zillow. Finding a roommate or moving back in with parents may be the only option for these teachers.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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