Is it a Good Time to Buy Rental?

The number of renters who spend more than half their income on housing is at its highest level in half a century, according to a Harvard University report. About 26 percent of renters — or 10.1 million people — spent more than half their pre-tax household income on rent and utilities in 2009, according to the study. Most experts recommend renters spend no more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Additionally, the cost of renting continues to rise as vacancies remain low. The number of renters increased 8 percent nationally between 2007 and 2009, according to Census Bureau figures, and rents climbed 3 percent nationwide. Many experts blame the shortage of affordable rental housing on rentals failing to keep up with demand. Building mostly came to a standstill in 2009, particularly with a shortage of apartments. “It’s a real squeeze for the lower-income and moderate-income families, and we’re even starting to see it affecting middle-income families too,” says Erick Belsky, managing director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. “The prospects for improvement anytime soon are dim.” Rents are expected to continue to climb as developers try to play catch up to meet the demand, analysts say. Source: The Washington Post

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