"Buy land. They ain't making any more of that stuff" —Will Rogers
Pic: screenshot provided by author, from Twitter
Perhaps the Pandemic and a Year of Quarantine has Triggered a 'Readjustment of Priorities' for Some Angelenos
LOS ANGELES — For most of America's history, moving out West carried a "magic" ring to it, as did Magic Johnson once carry the Showtime Lakers to many a championship ring. From the famed California Gold Rush to the golden Hollywood Hills, it's no wonder in the 90s rap legend Tupac Shukur dedicated an anthem to the City of Angels.
"No matter what you say about Los Angeles," declared Shakur, "it's still the only place for me!" Ah, how the times have changed.
Because all that glitters is not gold, that once golden Los Angeles dream appears to be fading. After all, according to an eye-opening LA Times report:
In the fiscal year that ended in July, Los Angeles County had by far the greatest net loss due to migration of any California county — more than 74,000 people, according to state demographers. Some moved to nearby areas with lower costs of living; others ventured farther or left the state altogether.
As the report notes, that once glamorous LA scene — celebrated the world over for its entertainment and artsy environment — has simply "priced itself" out for many.
Perhaps one of the most curious statistics regarding living in LA is this: though Los Angeles annually ranks in the top 10 for most expensive cities, what's incredible is "Los Angeles's median household income is $3,151 less than the national average."
Think about that for a second. ...
What makes LA so costly is largely due to its unique topography. First, there's the Pacific Ocean.
You don't need me to remind you it's impossible to build homes on water. No matter how "beautiful" the oceanview. Such scarcity of land, then, quite naturally raises the cost of living. And for this very reason, as professor Dowell Myers of USC notes — this lack of affordable housing is pushing young families out of not only LA but also California at large.
Rob Gard, a writer, when asked why he ditched LA after 19 years, answered simply: "For all the laid-back perceptions of L.A., it takes a lot of focused, intense energy to keep up, not to mention a lot of money." Gard ultimately decided "the cost of living was a deterrent to continuing my life there."
"LA sees 96% increase in residents moving away from the city," reads a Market News headline.
When the pandemic first struck Los Angeles, there were widespread reports of U-Haul trucks lining the streets. But this hardly came as a surprise. After all, it's been well-documented that LA's been losing Angelenos since 2017. Again,
Limited space + Limited housing + High cost of living = Recipe for losing residents
Because the average home value in LA is $826,566, it's only sensible that many are looking for cheaper, less-crowded pastures. But even more than plain 'ol dollars and cents, it appears life in the pandemic has served to remind Angelenos of why — when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
To put it simply, the pandemic has triggered a "readjustment of priorities" in how many LA residents view one of the most expensive and crowded regions in the country. For some, lifestyle benefits seem to override the glamour of La-La Land.
Perhaps the above explains why so many LA residents are moving to cheaper, less-crowded places.