As the economic downturn in the U.S. drags on with seemingly no end in sight, more and more people are opting to rent rather than purchase homes. In fact, the majority of renters are now 40 years of age and older, according to a recent report issued by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.
For a long time, many have assumed that the only people who choose to rent rather than buy are twenty-somethings who just joined the workforce and are looking to save money. The new report, however, indicates that this assumption is far from the reality. The recent Harvard report, which relies on Census Bureau data, found that more than 50 percent of renters in this country are over the age of 40. A decade ago, at the peak of the housing bubble, just 43 percent of renters were above the age of 40. To put that alarming trend in perspective, more than 22 million households are now occupied by renters.
The researchers have speculated that the shift from buying homes to renting homes is due in large part to the aftereffects of the housing crash. Of course, other reasons for the shift most likely include massive job losses and layoffs in what has become a down economy. Many of the people who now find it difficult to cover the costs of owning a home have done nothing wrong; their excessive and often unmanageable debt is merely the result of circumstances beyond their control.
Christopher Herbert, managing director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, said that the “affordability problem” will likely continue in the years ahead because far too many renters are now considered financially burdened and have dug themselves into too deep a hole. Moreover, as rents rapidly increase at rates higher than wage increases in this country, the problem could get worse in the years ahead. With rent on the rise and income sharply declining, many of the over-40 renters are finding it difficult to cover the costs of rent. The Harvard study found that the average renter must spent more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent.
Faced with foreclosures on their homes, a lot of former homeowners are choosing to rent rather than attempt to buy another house. At the same time, bankruptcy has become an increasingly viable option for individuals who are struggling to pay mortgages, or even rent, in the downturn economy.
For more information about changing trends among renters, check out the Yahoo.com article entitled, “More Than Half of US Renters 40 and Older, Study Says.” https://finance.yahoo.com/news/more-half-us-renters-older-050630574.html
If you are a homeowner struggling with debt and need a little help figuring out what to do next, experienced bankruptcy lawyer Joel R. Spivack can assist you. He has more than 30 years of experience assisting South Jersey residents with bankruptcy and other debt management options. Speak to Mr. Spivack today for more information about how you may be able to avoid or delay foreclosure through bankruptcy.