Rising rents require sacrifice; here’s what renters are giving up

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Renters make sacrifice to make due

Rents largely remained static last month, but according to a new analysis, about a quarter of renters are still having problems affording their payment. Many are even picking up extra work to make due.

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Renters have an affordability problem

According to RentCafe, the national rent clocked in at an average of $1,476 — a bump of just $1 from the month prior. Even better? Rents stabilized in 95 percent of cities, with only 4 percent seeing an increase.

Still, despite the positive headwinds, an analysis from Zillow shows Americans who rent are facing major affordability problems. According to the data, 26 percent of renters say making rent is either “difficult” or “very difficult.” Another 66 percent say they make sacrifices to afford their rent.

Generation Z renters give up the most, with 75 percent saying they make sacrificed to pay rent. Millennials are slightly lower at 60 percent.

The cost of renting vs. homeownership over 3, 5 and 10 years

What renters give up

What do these renters give up, exactly? According to ZIllow’s survey, reduced entertainment spending is No. 1, with 38 percent saying they cut these costs to afford their rent.

Another quarter say they’ve picked up another job to make due, while one in five say they’ve canceled some sort of monthly service to save on cash.

Most renters regret not buying a home or building equity

Others are postponing (and outright canceling) vacation plans and reducing their savings toward a down payment and retirement.

Almost one in 10 says they’ve even postponed or canceled health services. Renters in the Western part of the country — where home prices are typically highest — were the most likely to do this.

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