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Opinion

Opinion: Housing prices run middle-class buyers out of Los Angeles

CANOGA PARK, CALIF. - APRIL 2, 2017. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom house for sale in Canoga Perk on
Shown is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Canoga Park that was up for sale in April.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Thanks once again for Steve Lopez’s skill in showcasing issues that confront regular folks. The reality for most of us who live in L.A. is that housing is unaffordable. (“Bye-bye Silver Lake, hello Pacoima: How one couple tackled L.A.'s sky-high real estate prices,” Sept. 2)

One quote stood out to me. Steve Adams, a nurse who moved here with his wife, Rebekah Adams, from Minnesota, said about their search for a house in Los Angeles: “We’ve lived all over the United States and I’ve never seen this disparity between the haves and have-nots.”

There’s only one thing I’d change in Rebekah’s [follow-up] comment [that] “the middle class is becoming a mythical beast.” Perhaps we can all agree that the word “becoming” is unnecessary and inaccurate.

Choral Brown, Culver City

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To the editor: This was not a column about the vanishing middle class, which is a large issue in this country.

This was nothing more than a complaint about how the classic economic theory of supply and demand affects the price of a commodity for which a relatively fixed quantity is available. After all, nobody can manufacture more land, and even if density was vastly increased, prices in the more central parts of Los Angeles will remain high.

What came across is that this couple wanted everything in their new home: a nice climate, close to work or easy public transportation, decent size, safe for them and their dog, no major renovations needed, hip restaurants and more. And they did not expect to pay much for all that.

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Nor were they willing to make the trade of “precious hours,” which a lot of other people make not only by commuting, but by working extended hours. What, should we force the sale of housing at an “affordable” price with a lottery to determine which “deserving” couple gets it?

The competitive market for housing does not well illustrate the plight of the vanishing middle class.

Stephanie Scher, Los Angeles

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