New study: Almost half of all renters are paying too much for housing

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

The cost-burden rate is on the rise

The share of renters who are cost-burdened has hit its highest rate in five years. According to new data, a whopping 49.7 percent of American renters are either moderately or severely burdened by their housing costs.

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The rent’s too darn high

According to a new analysis from Apartment List, just under half of American renters say they’re overwhelmed by their housing costs. The share has jumped by 300,000 in just the last year and by 2.8 million since 10 years ago.

As Chris Salvati, Apartment List’s housing economist, explains, “These figures speak to the magnitude of the housing affordability crisis. Essentially half of renter households are spending more than the recommended amount on their housing costs, while nearly one in four spends at least half of their household income on rent.”

The number of cost-burdened renters had actually been declining until 2018. According to Salvati, that’s when growth started to outpace wage growth, and the trend reversed.

It’s a bad time to be a renter; here’s how much rents jumped in the last year

Where renters feel the burn

Renters in New York, California and Florida are feeling the burn most. In fact, one in every three cost-burdened renters lives in these states.

At the metro level, the cost-burden rate is highest in Miami, where 62.7% of renter households spend more than 30% of their income on rent. 

“Miami again ranks worst on this metric, and by a fairly wide margin,” Salvati said. “A household earning the median renter income in the Miami metro would need to spend 39.3 percent of that income to afford the area’s median rent — well over the 30 percent threshold.”

Average mortgage payments slide for the first time in years

Other cities with high burden rates include San Diego, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, and Denver.

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Are you ready to get out of the rent race? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today. 

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