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Los Angeles Renters Second-Most Rent-Burdened In The Nation, Report Says

Los Angeles' median rent amounts to almost half of what the median income household makes.

Los Angeles’ renters are disproportionately struggling under the weight of their rents, a new report finds. 

Even before the pandemic, LA has consistently been at the top of lists of cities where renters are rent-burdened, defined as spending more than 30% of their income on rent.’s February 2022 rent report found that only Miami renters were forking over more of their income to rent than those in LA. The report looked at median rents relative to median incomes for the top 50 metros in the nation. 

The median rent in the LA metro area — which includes LA, Long Beach and Anaheim — was $2,929 in February, or 46% of the median income for the area. If the median income household in LA were spending 30% of its income on rent, it would be paying closer to $1,900. 

LA wasn’t alone. In 14 of the top 50 metros, the rent represented more than a 30% share of the median household income, found. 

Although Los Angeles has not seen the massive increases in rents that other parts of the country or even other parts of Southern California have seen since the onset of the pandemic, LA renters were already experiencing rents that grow faster than wages, leading to affordability issues.

The metro area that includes Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario — about an hour east of Los Angeles — was No. 3 on the list. 2020 brought a big boom in rent growth there, spurred by local migration out of denser urban areas by renters looking for more space at a lower price. LA rents grew 20% year-over-year between 2021 and 2022, found. 

Riverside-area median rents were $2,678 in February, or about 46% of the area median household income. If the median income household there were paying 30% of its income toward rent, the rent would be about $1,750, found. Rents there grew 14.2% between February 2021 and the same month in 2022. 

Another Southern California metro, San Diego, was the fifth-most rent-burdened metro in the nation, with median rents reaching just over $3K, or about 43% of the median household income. For rents to be affordable for San Diego renters by the 30% definition, they would have to be closer to $2K. San Diego-area renters saw the biggest rise year-over-year in rents, with a 25.4% increase from February 2021 to 2022.