Report: The working class can’t afford to live in Palm Springs anymore

Hopefully the snowbirds will be able to start working hospitality, service, and medical jobs soon, since everyone currently doing those things in the Coachella Valley will have to move elsewhere if they would like to ever own their own home.

The Desert Sun is out with a report about how impossible it is for locals to buy homes in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley and the outlook is pretty bleak:

In the Coachella Valley, the median renting household earns just $30,200 per year, according to census data. Nearly 58 percent of renters break the “30 percent rule.” And in November, the median home cost $290,000, according to real estate research firm CoreLogic DataQuick — meaning a 20 percent down payment would be nearly twice as large as the median renter’s annual income.

The article (which is worth a read) highlights a few twenty-somethings and their struggles to afford just renting units in Palm Springs, including 26-year-old Roxanne Terwelp who has seen her rent on a one bedroom apartment in Palm Springs creep up over the last 5 years from $875 to $1,000 – and fears it will soon rise again.

Another renter, Juliana Marroquin is ditching her apartment and moving in with her in-laws in order to save up for a house.

A third renter, Alexis Ortega, says that the issue comes down to money and common sense.

“The thing I feel really guilty about is, with rent, that money is gone. With a mortgage, at least I’m getting something in return,” she told the Desert Sun. “But it feels almost unattainable because of the down payment. I could put a lot of savings into a down payment, but then I wouldn’t have any savings.”

And why are rents going so high?  Steve Huffman renovated 121 apartment units in Palm Springs recently and the units are being rented – just not by locals.

Included in this market are people Huffman calls “dual renters by choice” — professionals who rent apartments as weekend homes rather than buying condos. People who prefer to rent but still want a luxury feel “is a new phenomenon that, frankly, I think we’re creating,” Huffman said.

Great.  Hopefully, they will work a shift or two as a server or nurse on the weekends too – since they just priced a local family out of place to live.

The article does not set out to solve the issue of home ownership for the younger working class of the Coachella Valley, but does point out a pretty big problem that will have to be dealt with at some point: if the Coachella Valley wants good, hard working professionals, cities better start taking steps to make sure they can actually afford a decent home here.

Related: Correction: Young people in Palm Springs can afford homes…tiny, uninhabitable homes.