Half of tenants nationally overspend on rent: Harvard study

Half of all renters in the U.S. spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, according to a study released today from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Fifty-three years ago, only one in four renters spent that proportion of their income on housing. Those people are referred to as “cost-burdened,” but the group of “severely cost-burdened” – those paying more than 50 percent of their income – is also growing rapidly, the study said.

Between 2007 and 2011, the number of severely cost-burdened renters rose 28 percent – to 11.3 million, from 8.8 million.

Overwhelming demand “was more than enough to absorb the 2.7 million single-family homes that flooded into the rental market after 2007,” Businessweek reported, citing the study. [Businessweek]Mark Maurer

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