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Budget Issues: Renters Are Falling Farther Behind Homeowners

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Boston's a city of renters, but do we want to be? Judging by our budgets, that's a no.

Zillow's latest report shows that the average Boston renter is spending 34.4 percent of their monthly income on rent, which is a major shift from the historic average 1985-2000 of 27 percent.

Meanwhile, homeowners are spending, on average, 21.7 percent of their monthly income on payments, when historically from 1985 to 2000 it was 26 percent.

What's going on here?

Rents generally rise 3 percent per year. But in Boston, rents are rising 6 to 7 percent annually. Combine that with stagnant salaries that do not keep pace with the rising costs of rent, and you have your problem defined.

Given that people are spending more on rentals, there is less to save for a down payment to qualify for a home to call your own.

While Boston has one of the most extreme problems, it's not just us. The U.S. Census Bureau reported homeownership in the U.S. shrank to 63.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015, from 64.7 percent in the previous quarter. And now, we have the lowest rate of homeownership since 1967.

· Boston renters are falling further and further behind owners [Boston.com]
· Where the renters are [Schwanksta.com]
· Boston renters are falling further and further behind owners [Boston.com]