Pricey Homes, Expensive Mortgages
Since March, the Federal Reserve has been hiking rates, causing mortgage costs to soar. At the same time, home prices remain sticky following their upward trajectory over the last few years. In this environment, many would-be home buyers find themselves priced out of the market and forced to rent instead.
As demand shifts from buying to renting a home, landlords are bumping up rents. The trend may continue into the foreseeable future. The Fed has indicated ongoing rate hikes will be necessary as it works to pull inflation back from its highest level in over 40 years.
Rental Prices Keep Rising
Data analytics firm CoreLogic reported rents for single-family homes have continually increased over the last 13 months, coming in 14% higher in April year-over-year. The analysis also showed rental homes are in short supply, which is also a factor in the escalating cost to rent. Invitation Homes (INVH), one of the nation’s largest owners of single-family rental homes, reported current occupancy at 98%.
A Moody’s Analytics report indicates the trend is creating hardship for many Americans. Their findings revealed the percentage of people spending more than 30% of their income on apartment rent has skyrocketed to 23% after being at 8% as recently as late 2019.
Market observers contend continued increases in rents can’t be sustained. Many renters are already financially stretched and facing cost increases for other necessities like gas and groceries. There may be a limit as to what they can spend on housing. This may leave them little choice but to reduce expenses by sharing housing with family or taking on roommates.
Should the Fed’s tight monetary policy tip the US into a recession, rent prices could also face downward pressure. In the meantime, those seeking housing may find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
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