Americans forced to work 6 extra hours a month to afford surging rents


the rent was “too high” 12 years ago and has only shot up ever since. It has increased so much that renters in the US now have to work six hours longer than before the pandemic to pay the average monthly rent. according to Zillow.

Rent in the US has risen about 36% in the past five years, now averaging $2,040 per month across the country, the real estate company reported. In the same time period, wages only increased 23%.

Americans are in a bind, with rising costs closing in from multiple sides: rents are rising along with inflation putting pressure on groceries, gas, and essentials; the threat of a recession; and a post-pandemic unrest in the workforce that has led workers to seek a better work-life balance amid a cascade of layoffs.

“Rents grew at record rates for much of 2021, squeezing budgets for tenants moving or renewing leases. Now, it appears more people are choosing to share a room with roommates or family members, which means more vacancies and pressure on landlords to competitively price their units,” Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker wrote in the report. .

The good news, Tucker noted: “Rents fell last month for the first time in two years, possibly the start of more price declines to come, or at least a sign that we’re back to the usual seasonal rhythms of the rental market.” “.

Median Income in the US It capped its two straight years of growth last month, falling less than 1 percent after annual rent growth peaked at 17% earlier in the year.

While relief appears to be on the horizon, in the meantime, Americans will have to work nearly 63 hours at the average US wage before they can pay their monthly rent.

The strain is most intense for renters in Miami, where Zillow’s analysis finds it takes 96 hours before workers earning average wages can pay rent. That’s 24 hours more than renters in Miami would have needed to work to pay rent five years ago.

In metro areas like Atlanta, Phoenix, Nashville and Austin, the work hours needed to pay rent remained below the national average despite sharp increases in rental prices. And only in three large metropolitan areas (San Jose, Boston and San Francisco) have rents become easier to pay, even though they are among the highest rents in the country.

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