By Craig Erwin, Ph.D.
Renters Are Stuck Between A Rock And A Hard Place Nationally, rents just hit a record, up 17% from last year. The national median rent is now $1792. Ouch! That must be higher than many people’s house payments. Although the highest rents in the country are in San Jose at $3024 per month, the fastest rent growth recently has been in Miami, which saw a 55% increase in median rent from February 2021 to February 2022. Of course, rents vary by region but, for the most part, they have been climbing fastest in the south.
During the pandemic, rents stagnated, but, as Covid loosened its grip, rents bolted upward in many cities and regions. Now that the prices of gas and many other things have been rising sharply, renters are taking it on the chin, as rent consumes more of their income, and necessities like gas and food become less affordable. Unfortunately, most renters are stuck renting, unable to buy a house to escape climbing rents, because home prices have soared even more than rents, the inventory of homes is tight, and mortgage rates are rising fast. Higher mortgage rates are rapidly pushing houses out of reach for many would-be home buyers. Rates for a 30-year mortgage are the highest in years. On March 23rd the average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.52%, but it wasn’t long ago that it was below 3%. That makes a big difference in the size of a house payment.
Do you believe that buying is cheaper than renting? Are you renting? If so, are you hoping to buy a house soon?
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