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Americans Face Difficulties in Finding Cheap Houses for Rent

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Cheap houses for rent have become a rarity in the U.S. as renters are hit by increased household costs and declining income. According to 2009 housing rental data, majority of renters in the country consider housing unaffordable, with costs like utilities and maintenance continuing to rise, while sources of income have become squeezed.

According to 2009 figures, 51.5% of renters are spending at least 30% or their income on rental costs. Under the government's parameters, housing is considered unaffordable if households are spending 30% or higher on housing expenses including utilities and rental fees. The 2009 percentage is slightly higher than 2008 when around 50% of renters are spending that much on housing expenses.

The increase in the percentage of renters living in unaffordable units is largely attributed to the decline in the average household income. Based on 2009 figures, median income for households declined by 2.9%, mainly because unemployment jumped to 10.2% for the year. In addition, housing expenses rose by 3% from $818 in 2008 to $842 in 2009. Most analysts believe that the affordability of housing will continue to become a problem as long as incomes are declining and job loss is escalating.

Housing analysts have also stated that the lack of cheap houses for rent also reflects increased demand as foreclosure problems continue to discourage families and individuals from purchasing homes. They further added that, with the current market condition, most Americans feel that renting is more practical and beneficial than owning a residence.

One good thing that the 2009 housing market data revealed is that among people who actually own homes, only 37.6% are spending at least 30% on housing expenses, including taxes, utilities, insurance and mortgage loan payments. This can be considered good news since the figure is almost the same as the percentage recorded in 2008, which means that expenses for homeowners had remained steady since rising steadily beginning in 2002.

Despite difficulties in finding cheap houses for rent, the number of people renting dwellings has risen by almost one million, while the number of people who own houses declined by as much as half a million. Rental housing data for 2010 is expected to show almost similar trends.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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