The U.S. Census recommends Americans spend no more than 30% of their income on housing costs per month. Still, an estimated 19 million U.S. households spend over 50% of their income on housing.
As the United States continues to recover from the housing crisis and recession, housing costs, including home prices and rent, are rising faster than incomes. While the recovering housing market is a boon for the economy, it is simultaneously saddling millions of Americans with additional financial burden.
> Households able to afford monthly payments: 48.3%
> Median single-family house price: $400,900
> 2015 median household income: $78,800
> 5 yr. pop. change: 4.0%
The typical Boston metro area household earns $78,800 a year, the eighth most of any city nationwide. Despite the area’s general wealth, many Boston households struggle to afford their housing payments. The typical home in Boston costs $400,900, more than five times the city’s median household income — one of the highest home price-to-income ratios of any metro.
Even at a higher affordability threshold, many American households simply cannot make the cut, particularly those in some major metropolitan areas. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of households spending more than 36% of their income on housing based on data from “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2017,” a report compiled by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. In 39 major U.S. metropolitan areas the majority of households are spending beyond their means on housing.