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How much of your income goes to housing?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis February 27, 2012 10:18 AM

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Greetings from sunny Florida, epicenter of the housing market meltdown.

I've spent the last week down in the Sunshine State with Karen and the kids.

My in-laws live outside of Orlando, but managed to survive the housing crash thanks to some prudent decisions.

Mainly they avoided the temptation of moving up to bigger digs when housing prices were soaring down here.

Here's a link to a study that details how both homeowners and renters have taken it on the chin as we slowly climb out of the worst real estate downturn since the great Depression.

Overall housing costs have increased - not decreased - for many families since 2008, when the world economy came close to a replay of 1929, the Center for Housing Policy finds.

For homeowners, incomes fell more than twice as much as housing costs since 2008, according to the study.

Rents have also soared as demand has outstripped supply amid, with one-time homeowners and skittish buyers alike compete for a limited number of apartments.

As a result, a growing number of families are forking over half their paychecks to either the landlord or the bank.

In Massachusetts, nearly a quarter of all families are living in such a precarious situation. Amazingly, some states have even a higher number of renters and homeowners living on the edge.

Cheer up, you could be living in California or Nevada

Here's an excerpt from the study.

Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the following five had the highest share of working households with a severe housing cost burden in 2010:

  • California 34%
  • Florida 33%
  •  New Jersey 32%
  • Hawaii 30%
  • Nevada 29%


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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