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Forum

Mid-level executives in Los Angeles spend an average of 36.8 percent of their annual income on a home mortgage, according to a report released last week by E & Y; Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group. Only New York and San Francisco homeowners pay more. The Business Journal Forum asks:

Is housing in Los Angeles too expensive?

Ken Kerzner

President

Budget Rent A Car Beverly Hills

No. I’ve been in business here for 30 years and I own two homes in Los Angeles. Yes, we do pay more. I travel all over the country and this is the best weather and environment in the world. It’s not freezing in winter and not humid in summer. So you pay for the climate and the environment. I know this, as I moved from New York in 1954. And now I know why it is so expensive; you pay for these things.

Karime Sanchez Bradvica

Executive Director, External Affairs

Pacific Telesis Co.

No. As a homeowner I feel that we’re paying for living in a city that is very dynamic and certainly has many opportunities for its residents. In that context, I think it goes hand in hand. I would say that it’s a fair price. You must look at the environment that you’re in. You could buy for a lot less in cities that are dead, but then you have to look at what you are getting in return.

Steven Pearl

Attorney

Law Offices of Steven Pearl

It is no surprise that housing in Los Angeles is not affordable, even though it is better now than it was a few years ago. With the economy strong and interest rates staying low, I anticipate the housing costs will continue to rise through the next several years. My wife and I just bought our first home in Studio City, and we hope it will prove to be a good investment.

Michael A. Quigley

Senior Vice President

First Federal Savings of San Gabriel Valley

We as Southern Californians pay too much. We as individuals always want to buy slightly above our heads; because of that, we may be paying more of our disposable income than other parts of the country. Historically, in the 1980s, we found great appreciation through our homes, and everyone buying today still has the dream that the appreciation will still occur. We are hoping to relive the past and that is not going to happen.

Slyvio Pennucci

Star Caster Network

Yes. I believe that housing affordability in the Los Angeles area still is affected by the region’s economic recovery. San Francisco has a very strong, high-wage-earning base, and is reflected in the housing market. It is the most expensive city, but the residents are in a better position to afford it. Until Los Angeles aggressively seeks high-caliber, high-wage-paying employers again, it will continue to be unaffordable despite the strengthening market.

Mario Oliver

Restaurateur

Le Petit Four

Prices are too arbitrary. The difference between even a few blocks can be outrageous.

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