The Rent, Yes, Is Too Damn High, Etc.

Affordability Crunch

Here’s something you’ve perhaps noticed on your own: rents have been getting crazy high! From Bloomberg:

Rental affordability has steadily worsened, according to a new report from Zillow Group Inc., which tracked data going back to 1979. A renter making the median income in the U.S. spent 30.2 percent of her income on a median-priced apartment in the second quarter, compared with 29.5 percent a year earlier. The long-term average, from 1985 to 1999, was 24.4 percent.

The culprit for rising rents is simple: demand for rentals have been strong while homeownership has fallen. Writes Bloomberg, “The U.S. homeownership rate fell to the lowest level in almost five decades in the second quarter, as strict lending standards and tight inventories keep many families in the rental market.”

It’s not just happening in the places you’d usually expect this to happen; Julissa Trevino recently wrote about the skyrocketing rents in her neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas.

According to the Zillow analysis, renters in Los Angeles are spending the highest portion of their incomes—48.9 percent—on rent. For the New York metro area, it’s 41.3 percent, which is close to what I pay. What about you? Do the Zillow numbers closely match what you’re spending to rent?

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