La Vie Boheme no more, US housing data suggests

Fewer renters and homeowners were cost-burdened in 2015 than previous years

TRD New York /
Sep.September 15, 2016 12:50 PM

Sunny days are ahead for middle-class American households.

Fewer renters and homeowners were cost-burdened in 2015 than in previous years, according to an analysis of American Community Survey data cited by the Wall Street Journal. 

About half of all American renters spent more than 30 percent of their income — the threshold for what’s considered a “burden” — on rent in 2014, according to the analysis’ author Jed Kolko, a senior fellow at UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. In 2015, however, that rate dropped to just over 49 percent, the lowest it has been since 2008.

Accounting for both renters and homeowners, the overall percent of cost-burdened households fell from 34.6 percent in 2014 to 33.6 percent in 2015, thanks in part to growing incomes and low interest rates. The number of cost-burdened households have been declining for five consecutive years since its peak of 38.1 percent in 2010.

“The big jump in income between 2014 and 2015 helped owners and renters,” Kolko told The Real Deal. “And homeowners with mortgages got an additional boost from declining mortgage rates.”

Overall homeownership has been declining, however, the data shows. Only 949,000 new households created in 2015 — that’s down from the 1.2 million in 2014, though sales have been consistently rising in pace.

But single-family ownership posted an exceptional increase — the biggest year-to-year jump since 2007. In 2015, there were 65.7 million owner-occupied single-family homes, compared to the 65.2 million the previous year.

Kolko projects that this reflects the fact that families who lose their homes during the foreclosure crisis and subsequently became renters in the following years have finally become eligible to buy again. — Cathaleen Chen


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
A rendering of 165 Broome Street (Credit: Handel Architects)

Nonprofit plans affordable housing development near Essex Crossing

Nonprofit plans affordable housing development near Essex Crossing
All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag
President Donald Trump (Getty, iStock)

Trump tweets that he “may END” Obama-era fair housing regulation

Trump tweets that he “may END” Obama-era fair housing regulation
City Council member Vanessa Gibson, Speaker Corey Johnson and City Council member Brad Lander (Getty)

Why the City Council abandoned affordable housing

Why the City Council abandoned affordable housing
(iStock)

Home loans are getting bigger, even as application volume drops

Home loans are getting bigger, even as application volume drops
Barika Williams of Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development and Adam Weinstein, CEO of Phipps Houses

Affordable housing experts talk systemic change

Affordable housing experts talk systemic change
A new report finds homes still unaffordable for majority of Americans (iStock)

TRD Insights: Homeownership unaffordable for average wage earner across 75% of US counties

TRD Insights: Homeownership unaffordable for average wage earner across 75% of US counties
Competition for affordable housing in New York City is highest among those who need affordable housing most (Getty, iStock)

Poorest face worst odds in city’s housing lotteries

Poorest face worst odds in city’s housing lotteries
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...