American rents reach record levels of unaffordability

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Yeah, a few years ago when we had a rather annoying neighbor and specifically the dog that would bark for hours we looked into moving and while rent has not gone up much since then our mortgage from when we bought in 1998? 1999? is now cheaper than even a 2 bedroom apartment in some areas of the city.


Considering that the current median home price is 156k here in St Louis County, MO where I live. It makes more sense for me to continue to rent than buy. The area I’m in most of the homes were built in the late 60’s to early 70’s. So, the homes are 40+ to nearly 50 years old with needing major electrical updates and plumbing replacement. Also, the tax rates depending upon where you buy will add a minimum of $150 a month to your cost. So, if you put down 20% on 156k for 30 years @4% you have a principle that is the same as my current rent. Then you add in the much higher cost of homeowners insurance and property taxes plus all the additional maintenance cost per month and increased electric and or gas for heating or cooling the larger square footage. My one bedroom apartment is a bargain.

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When I came to California in 1976 my monthly rent was $25, for a chicken coop. But it was my chicken coop, and a damned nice one at that.


156k? Nice! It’s 550k here in our (not very special) part of L.A.


During the recessions (they caused) the wealthy snapped up even more properties for peanuts. Now they’re profit taking and sucking out what’s left of our dying middle class and forcing the lower classes into choosing between rent and food.

Boing Boing, isn’t well beyond time to support the living hell out of Bernie Sanders’ campaign?

If not now, then when?


International Big Money Boyz are buying up property all around the world. First noticed this in London and then found that Chinese wealthy were buying up suburbs around Boston with one billionaire buying anything he can find in Harvard Square. Not much commentary on this in the local discussions of high rents and lack of housing here.

This is an international problem and will become more and more difficult to solve.


Here in the UK, it’s getting similarly bad. Looks like the only thing that will put a break on prices and rents is the actual breakdown of society. For anyone who thinks that capitalism is good at allocating resources, and that marginal utility explains modern market prices: a ha ha hah.


I came here to post this.

And was pleased to see that I made it here first.


Waiting for Martin Shkreli to pen an op-ed about how low the rents are…


Or they are upper middle class folks investing in property… No need to brand everyone who buys a rental property as some kind of top hat wearing 1%'er.

Is Bernie against people buying property and promising to stop it? If so, I may have to change my vote.


I would be ecstatic if our rent was only 30% of our income.


No Rent Control Where I Live
Southern California, USA


It’s the same here in Oz.

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A. Not the majority.

B. As wealth disparity grows, the less the “middle” in the phrase can be emphasized.


Democratically administered municipal corporations should be federally subsidized to acquire titles to rental properties subject to rent controlled long term leases benefitting low and midle inome residents, e.g., qualified teachers, law enforcement, social workers and firefighters.

Most if not all of the higher rent payments charged by some private owners would instead be spent in other, more productive parts of the economy.

Targeted debt relief and restructuring programs would redirect more income from debt service to goods and services and further restore demand.

You have evidence of this?

You have evidence to oppose that statement?


So the Public employees already sucking on the public tit get subsidized housing too? (excepting social workers who are not typically govt’ employees, but work for nonprofits) And who pays for your grand giveaway? Shoddy thinking like this led to the terribly administered rent controls we do have. There’s a program for this called Section 8, it’s just that no one want to fund it. It’s easier to continue rent controls that often benefit those not in need, at the expense solely of property owners rather than the general public.

As for gentrification, I can tell you this for sure, many of these properties would have ended up being condemned because at the pre-gentrification price point renovation was not economically sensible. No one would put value in that could not be gotten out either by rent or sale, they would just collect rent till it was unrentable and walk away. On my now gentrified “brownstone” block there were numerous empty lots where this happened over the years leaving gaps in the streetscape. All the breast beating never takes this into account, it’s just those mean old greedy landlords.

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And what about the people who can no longer afford to live near their work place, because of the costs of rents?

Employees are people who work. They get paid to do so. How is that “sucking off the public tit”?


:wink: It’s not about moral hazard. It’s about restoring economic demand.