Renters Put Too Much Toward Rent

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NEARLY HALF OF RENTERS PUT TOO MUCH TOWARD RENT
Source: Wall St. Journal

Renters Put Too Much Toward RentA record number of renters are spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent, which is a ratio that economists consider financially burdensome, according to a report released this week by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies titled, “America’s Rental Housing: Expanding Options for Diverse and Growing Demand.”

Making sense of the story

  • More than 21 million households are burdened by how much they pay in rent, up from fewer than 15 million in 2001.
  • Nearly half of renters are paying more than 30 percent of their incomes in rent, the report says. While that is a slight improvement from 2011, it remains above where it has been for most of the last 13 years.
  • Inflation-adjusted rents rose 7 percent from 2001 to 2014, while renter household incomes fell 9 percent, creating affordability challenges for many renters.
  • In contrast, the number of rental units expanded by just 8.2 million, most of that from the conversion of single-family homes into rentals.
  • Another factor exacerbating affordability is that much of the new supply is aimed at higher-income renters.
  • The median asking rent for new market-rate apartments hit $1,372 last year, a 26 percent increase from 2012.
  • The number of higher-income renters earning $100,000 or more has grown by 1.6 million over the last decade. Households over age 40 now make up the majority of renters, according to the report.
  • It is likely to take years for some of housing being built now to come down in price, leaving cities struggling to hold onto middle-class families.

Category : Blog

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