Wallets tighten as rent continues to increase

Max Smith, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The burden of paying rent is increasing for many Americans.

About 53 percent of American non-homeowners spend 30 percent or more of their income on rent, according to 2011 Census figures.

That accounts for about 20 million households, with 16 million of them spending 35 percent or more of their income on rent.

Eighteen million homeowners, 36 percent of those with a mortgage, face a similar cost.

The Census Bureau estimates that the national median rent last year was $871, with more than one-third of rentals going for more than $1000 per month.

The latest data for the D.C. area show that between 2006 and 2010, the median rent in our area was $1285. Just one-in-four rentals was available for less than $1000 per month.

According to that data, 47 percent of rental households in the Washington, Arlington and Alexandria metro area were paying 30 percent or more of their income on rent, 38 percent of local homeowners with mortgages were spending 30 percent or more of their income on their homes and 12 percent of local homeowners without mortgages were doing the same.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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