Well, obviously the article below was published just before the coronavirus started infiltrating our every single waking (and probably sleeping) moment. But let's all take a momentary break and consider something else out there that is impacting talent mobility.
The cost of living can truly impede the ability of someone to relocate and housing costs are a major factor in this cost. There is a general rule of thumb that people should not spend more than 30% of their salary (or income) on housing costs. If you do spend more than that 30%, then you can be defined as "cost burdened." Renters who are cost burdened are geographically spread out across the United States, too. It might not be surprising that more than half of NYC and LA renters are now "cost burdened," but Troy, Alabama, might be a surprise.
It might seem obvious that lower-income households (sub $30k annually) would be more cost burdened as a percentage, but according to Harvard University and the Joint Center for Housing Studies, both the number and share of cost-burdened renters are again on the rise, especially among middle-income households. This map shows that locations like Walla Walla (WA), Mankato (MN), Riverside (CA), Bangor (ME), Hilton Head (SC) and so many more are all above 50% when it comes to cost burdened renters.
According to the study, rental markets remain tight and vacancy rates are at decades-long lows, which is pushing up rents faster than incomes. What changed? Since the recession, there has been an influx of higher-income households renting, constraints on new supply and substantial losses of low-cost rentals. How bad has it gotten? Well, 10.9 million American renters — or one in four — spent more than half their incomes on housing in 2018.
Renters are increasingly likely to be older, as well as members of minority groups and non-traditional households. Is the only hope for middle- and low-wage earners Bernie Sanders? Download the report to see more thoughts on this societal challenge that is impacting relocation programs here in the U.S.
In Los Angeles and New York City, more than half of renters are now what’s called “cost-burdened,” which means they’re spending more than 30% of their income on rent. But this isn’t just a question of high rents in big, expensive cities: In Troy, Alabama, population 19,000, more than 62% of renters now spend too much on rent.