By Liu Mei
LOS ANGELES, Sept 23 (Xinhua) -- With unique geographical advantages and natural conditions, U.S. western coast state of California always attracts a great mount of people for investing, sightseeing and residing.
However, its stubbornly high housing price also deterred many people who attempt to move in, and many are even considering about leaving the Golden State due to the skyrocketed housing cost.
"We have been renting an apartment for over 10 years, and still cannot buy our own house, as the renting price increases every year. The American dream is about a house and a green card. But here in California it's not easy to let your American dream come true. Therefore, we decided to move to Texas, it happened to have a good job opportunity for me," Yunqi Li, a local resident of Los Angeles, told Xinhua Friday.
A research result, released this week by University of California Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies, showed that 56 percent of California residents are considering moving, both the renters and homeowners. For Los Angeles area, 59 percent people are mulling this matter.
The housing affordability crisis, happened in every large city of California, like San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento, resulted in more and more homeless people living at public area.
According to a report released by University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) earlier this year, the poverty rate in the whole Los Angeles area had increased from 15 percent to 17 percent between the year of 2011 and 2015. The main reasons causing the poverty are unemployment and unaffordable housing price.
In Los Angeles, the median rent for one-bedroom is 1,750 U.S dollars, while a two-bedroom is 2,110 U.S dollars, Apartment List found.
"I have two or three customers who intend to rent out their property, the owner of a two-bedroom townhouse would like to list her price for 2,800 U.S dollar per month, since her house is pretty new and in an excellent school district. It's a high price but I think it's reasonable in the current market. Even with this high price, the market is still in the lack of inventory this year," Ben Samimi, a real estate agent of San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, told Xinhua Friday.
The research conducted by UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies pointed out that in Los Angeles County, 68 percent of voters expressed their support for stronger limits on rent increases, most of whom are renters while 48 percent believed that the problem of housing affordability "extremely serious."
So when the Olympic Games were brought back to L.A in 2028, most people were cheering and celebrating, but some Los Angelinos opposed to it. They insist that the city are struggling with poverty and unemployment, the Olympic would make more people suffer from the high housing cost and poverty.
Immigration, both from the other states and overseas, is also a factor to push the house price higher in California and turn the situation to a vicious circle.
A report released earlier in August by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) showed that the percentage of the residents, who live in substandard housing or struggle to cover their rent in great LA area, ranked second highest in the country.
Meanwhile, many house owners are suffering a high property tax attached to their houses, which is the main source for local government's budget.
But most immigrants don't predict it before.
"According to my understanding, immigrants are the major cause for growing housing costs. The weather, the location and the good opportunities attract more and more immigrants, LA is usually the first choice for new immigrants, especially the Asian and Latino immigrants," William Yu, the economist of UCLA Anderson Forecast, said.
There are still many people who think the housing price in Los Angeles is acceptable.
Susan Park and her husband moved from the Bay Area of San Francisco to Los Angeles two years ago, and said the housing is affardable here in LA.
"The house in the Bay Area were very expensive, we could not afford it. We rent a one-bedroom apartment was about 3,000 U.S dollars. Compare with Bay Area, I think the housing price in Los Angeles is affordable and reasonable," Susan said to Xinhua.
"The real estate of California is like this. I think it's hard to lower down the housing price. If some people move out, others would move in, since we have more job opportunities and competitive economy here. The housing price would not easily go down in a short time from my anticipation," Jason Gu, a real estate agent of Southern California, told Xinhua Friday.