One of my roles here at dunes properties is to find interesting, real-estate related articles and information, post them on social media and blog about it. Sometimes, it can be hard for me to blog about something that I don’t know much about – I am not a homeowner, I do not have investment properties, and honestly, I don’t see myself getting to the point of home-buying any time soon (Hey, I’m still in my 20’s! Technically…), but I came across an interesting article on cnbc.com that really got my attention. Wait, was this article written about me?
Recent studies show that 1 in 4 renters must spend at least half their income on housing expenses. The real interesting thing is that this is 25% of ALL Americans. Vast majority of working middle-class America do not own their homes and are spending half their family’s income on housing. Myself, being a single mother, knows that struggle all too well. I would say 75% of my income goes to housing, with the other 25% going to living expenses such as food, diapers, gas, and necessary things I need to support myself and my daughter.
The number of households that require such high rental rates jumped a whopping 26% since 2007. Since the end of 2010, rental prices have surged at twice the pace of average hourly wages. This makes for extremely difficult dilemmas, like making rent or buying groceries (another struggle that I am personally familiar with). This crisis reflects one major shortcoming to recovery – wages have failed to match rising rental prices. Wages have risen only 2.1% in the last 12 months, where average rental prices have risen 3.7%. At the same time, new construction has not been able to keep up with rental demand and homeowners who were being pushed into foreclosure were forced to step into the rental spectrum. As a result, 2.3 million more families become dangerously close to becoming homeless every day.
The people that face such hardships are not irresponsible people. Or bad people, or lazy people. These are real people, with real families. This is real life, and the struggle is very real.