Renters today are spending a larger share of their income on rent than in the years before 2000. Homeowners, meanwhile, are spending less of their income on mortgage payments.
And, surprise, the rent burden particularly bad in Seattle.
According to a new report from Zillow, renters nationwide are spending about 29 percent of their income on rent. Homeowners are spending 15 percent of their income on mortgage payments. That rent cost as a share of income is up about 3 percent between 1985-2000. The mortgage costs are down about 6 percent. What that means for a typical renter’s bottom line: They’re spending $1,957 more per year than they would be if the pre-2000 percentage had lasted. Homeowners are spending $3,289 less. (The report uses median rental, mortgage, and income data.)
The figures underscore the hard truth that many people's wages aren't keeping up with increasing costs of living.
In Seattle, it's even worse. According to the report, renters here spent about 30 percent of their income on rent in the third quarter of this year. That's compared to about 24 percent between 1985 and 2000, or an additional $5,592 per year. Seattle homeowners, meanwhile, are spending 23.5 percent of their income on mortgage payments, down from about 25 percent. That translates to a savings of $1,493 per year.
The increased rent burden in Seattle is worse than cities like Austin and Chicago, but not as bad as New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. Here's the comparison from Zillow:
Maybe we should all just move to Pittsburgh.