Rising rents make housing less affordable

More renters found housing unaffordable last year as incomes declined, and more are likely to be squeezed this year, given rising rents. The share of renters paying 30% or more of their household income on housing costs — the government threshold to determine if housing is unaffordable — rose to 53% last year from 51.5% in 2009 and about 50% in 2008, according to 2010 Census data released today.

While median rents remained stable last year at $855 a month, median national household incomes, adjusted for inflation, fell 2.2% — putting the squeeze on renter budgets.

The share of renter households spending half or more of their income on housing rose to 27.4% last year from 26.4% in 2009, while the share of homeowners with mortgages in the same situation rose to 15.1% from 14.7%, the data show….Read more


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