Housing costs ease for homeowners a decade after the recession

Housing cost graphic
istock.com/phototechno

The housing costs burden has eased for U.S. homeowners but remained stagnant for renters since the peak of the recession in 2008.

Recently released data from the American Community Survey (ACS) estimates the percentage of “burdened” households, or those that spend at least 35% of their monthly income on housing costs, and provides a 10-year look at the trends from 2008 to 2018.

Burden of housing costs depends on mortgage status

There were 77.7 million owner-occupied housing units in the United States in 2018. Approximately 62% of these homeowners had a mortgage, down 6.5 percentage points from 2008.

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For the purposes of this analysis, a burdened owner-occupied household is one where the homeowner spends 35% or more of their monthly household income on mortgage payments, utility bills, real estate taxes, property insurance, and any required condominium or mobile home fees.

In 2018, 20.9% of homeowners with a mortgage were burdened. That’s down about eight percentage points from 10 years prior when 28.8% of homeowners with a mortgage were burdened.

Housing costs also eased slightly for homeowners without a mortgage or who own their homes free and clear.

According to the ACS, even without a mortgage payment, 11.0% of these households were burdened in 2018, compared with 12.0% in 2008.

Read more at the U.S. Census Bureau’s website.

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