More Americans Overspent on Housing

Data from the Census shows that 36.7% of U.S. households pay more than 30% of their pretax income on housing, an increase of 1.5 million since 2007.
October 3, 2010, 5am PDT | Tim Halbur
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The economists at the Wall St. Journal puzzle over how this could be, given that mortgage rates have been at record lows. Without coming to any conclusions on the reasons, they note that renters are even worse off:

"While the glut of houses in places such as California and Florida allowed many defaulters to rent luxurious homes for a fraction of their previous mortgage payments, the shift of people from homeowners to renters helped keep rents rising across the country. As a result, in 2009 some 47.7% of renters faced excessive housing costs, up from 45.6% in 2007."

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Published on Saturday, October 2, 2010 in The Wall St. Journal
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