Here’s yet more depressing news on the state of the state’s (and Raleigh’s) housing market: 50.8 percent of all North Carolina renters pay more than 30 percent of their monthly income towards housing, meaning they’re severely cost-burdened.
Andrew Woo, a growth strategy manager at Apartmentlist.com, analyzed census data from 2007-2014, across all 50 states, 454 cities and 929 counties to determine whether or not renters were cost-burdened and whether that burden was moderate or severe.
Raleigh has the most cost-burdened renters in North Carolina; in 2014, renters paid 53.1 percent of their monthly income towards housing. Compare that to the next most burdensome city for renters in the state, Winston-Salem, where 52.4 percent were cost-burdened in 2014. In Charlotte, 45.9 percent were cost-burdened that year.
North Carolina’s share of cost-burdened renters went down in 2014 from 2011, to 50.8 percent from 53.1 percent, but for Raleigh, that percentage increased. In 2011, 51 percent of renters were cost-burdened. This means Raleigh is on par with large cities like Boston (52 percent cost-burdened) and Chicago (53 percent); it’s not quite as severe as in San Diego (where 55 percent are cost-burdened), New York City (55 percent) and Portland (57 percent), but it’s not far behind. Miami, Detroit and Los Angeles fared the worst, with more than 60 percent of renters facing cost burdens.
As Woo’s story notes, “cities that millennials are flocking to—” like Seattle, Dallas, Austin, Houston and Denver—have managed to keep their rental stock affordable, “with 50 percent or fewer renters paying at least 30 percent of their income in rent.” (Millennials, or 25 to 34 year-olds, comprise Raleigh’s largest demographic, and the median age in the city is 32 years old.)
According to census data compiled by the City of Raleigh, in 2010, 50 percent of all housing units in Raleigh were owner-occupied, 43 percent were renter-occupied, and 7 percent were vacant; in 2012, median rent was $881.
Overall, cost-burden rates in the US are ten percent higher than they were in the year 2000 for renters, and they’re projected to increase. In many states, including North Carolina, wages aren’t keeping pace with the increasing costs of rent. Meanwhile, with 43 million households renting, US home ownership is at its lowest since 1967.