Renting used to be considered a stepping stone to homeownership, but now it’s becoming a barrier, according to a new report from Zillow. The report showed rents across the nation have been on the rise for the past year. In September 2012 rent prices reached a peak of 6.3% after the housing market crashed. Since January 2014, rents have increased 3.3% across the U.S. Some cities have even surpassed the national average. For example, Kansas City has more than doubled, increasing 8.5% since last year.
The report also showed that rents have grown at twice the pace of wages in the country since 2000, making it difficult for many Americans to afford their monthly bills. On average, Americans are spending approximately 30% of their income on rent, 5% higher than in the past.
Economists and real estate experts agree that rental affordability will continue to ‘deteriorate for the next two years.’ Both homeowners and renters will likely be affected since rental affordability tends to impact the housing market as a whole.
Real estate experts say it is sometimes better to buy than rent, but it largely depends on how long you plan to stay in the home. Nationwide, the ‘break-even horizon’ is around two years, but in some cities, like New York City, it can be as high as seven years. Breaking even, is when you are in your home long enough for ownership to be more cost-effective than renting. In Miami, for example, it takes just one year to break-even, according to real estate experts.
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