Here's How Many Americans Live In Houses They Can't Afford

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development suggests that you spend no more than 30% of your annual budget on housing costs as it could put you and your family at greater risk of being unable to afford other necessities.  That said, Americans are overachievers.

Per the following chart from, the average American family spends roughly $57,000 per year and have thrown caution to the wind with housing costs eating up nearly 33% of annual budgets.  In all, some 40 million houses (or about 1/3) are occupied by people who can't afford them.


Of course, this is hardly surprising in light of the following chart which reveals that the average working class family can't afford to live in the majority of metropolitan cities around the country due to ballooning housing costs.


Meanwhile, the following data from Harvard found that over 18 million households are currently stuck spending more than 50% of their annual income on housing, which is up 35% compared to 2001 levels.  Per Harvard Study:

The future course of homeownership will also be shaped by how affordable local home prices are for typical renters. On average, 45 percent of renters across the nation’s metropolitan areas can afford the payments on a median-priced home in their market area, but the shares range from less than one in ten in the high-cost markets concentrated on the Pacific Coast as well as in Florida and the Northeast, to two-thirds or more in low-cost metros in the Midwest and rural South. In areas where homebuying is well out of reach for a large majority of renters, there is much less potential for increases in homeownership.


With such large shares of households exceeding the traditional affordability standard, policymakers have increasingly focused their attention on the severely burdened (paying more than 50 percent of their incomes for housing). Although the total number of households with severe burdens also fell somewhat from 19.3 million in 2014 to 18.8 million in 2015, the improvement was again on the owner side (Figure 5). Indeed, 11.1 million renter households were severely cost burdened in 2015, a 3.7 million increase from 2001. By comparison, 7.6 million owners were severely burdened in 2015, up 1.1 million from 2001.


The share of renters with severe burdens varies widely across the nation’s 100 largest metros, ranging from a high of 35.4 percent in Miami to a low of 18.4 percent in El Paso. While most common in high-cost markets, renter cost burdens are also widespread in areas with moderate rents but relatively low incomes. Augusta is a case in point, where the severely cost-burdened share of renters was at 30.3 percent in 2015.


Of course, with the housing bubble re-inflating at breakneck speed and incomes stagnant, this crisis is only likely to worsen over time.


8iron Sep 6, 2017 9:20 PM Permalink

WTF are TAXES? Oh it's from Harvard. They certainly noticed TAXES would have been the second biggest "spend" @$17k.. ....conveniently left off since they are confiscated not spent

Swampster (not verified) Sep 6, 2017 8:30 PM Permalink

my '95 Coleman Taos Pop-Up is 100% paid off... P.S., I sure hope this real estate deal goes through (Cash) so I can get the fuck out of here.....

pynky01 Sep 6, 2017 7:30 PM Permalink

 All you whiners on rent expense::: can you say TEXAS and Californiacators get a 8% pay raise immediately...all we ask is bring a lot of money ...we got enough Mexicans and nigerians...

Stan522 Sep 6, 2017 7:06 PM Permalink

I recently moved from SoCal (behind enemy lines) to Nebraska and bought twice the house for half the price. Everything is less expensive including gasoline, electricity and gas, plus water.... and to boot, it's been SoCal weather for weeks here.. LOL! A lot more like-minded people here too....If it sucks where you're at then move if you can!

Stan522 Not My Real Name Sep 7, 2017 10:01 AM Permalink

Before moving, I lived in SoCal since 1969.... Do you think I have no idea what SoCal weather is like......?I lived 2.5 miles from the beach in Carlsbad and the temp duing summers were mid 70's and just a bit humid from the ocean breeze. Guess what..... same here in Nebraska. I am not saying it will always be the same here. The cold is simply part of the package. However, I don't have to deal with this following:kalifornia caused power outages: They call them Flex Alerts and that's when the power company tells you to cut back on usage. The reason they ask you to cut back is because the state of kalifornia has not allowed power sources to build for over 20 years all the while power sources have been eliminated such as San Onofre Nuke plant. Then to boot, when you cut back, San Diego Gas and Electric petitions the state to increase rates because they are not getting enough expected revenue and of course the state gives it to them. This is a vicious never ending cycle. The same exact thing occurs with water, they implore you to cut back and then rates always go up.kalifornia has a one party legislative branch as well as governorship. All of the loony laws they concoct get passed including cow flatulent catching backpacks for all the cattle residing in that state. Cattle farmers have to equip their animals with a device to catch cow farts.Governor Brown released early 10's of thousands of criminals from the state penitentiary in order to save money then proceeded to sign draconian gun laws making it much more difficult defending your family. This is psychotic at best and criminal at worse.Recently they bribed a republican law maker into siding with raising the gasoline tax. They promised it was only to help build roads and fix infrastructure, but the only reason they had to do that was because of all the other times they raised gas taxes, they proceeded to rob it to put in the general fund. Guess what....even with the law getting written to prevent this, the corrupt state is robbing it again. More money is getting put towards that moronic bullet train that is billions over budget and not built to provide any transportation for anyone.The state of kalifornia is a sanctuary state that placates to illegal aliens. I lived in a community where the illegals lived in the hills surrounding my development. There are signs on fences forbidding anyone to go into, but the illegals are allowed and if I decided to venture in to see the native habitat, I would be arrested. Meanwhile, along the trails leading to these open areas, there are abandoned shopping carts, beer cans, trash and other debris scattered all around.In kalifornia my Trundra got an average of 9 miles per gallon. In Nebraska at a buck less per gallon, I get 14 mpg. What the F are they doing to the gas to screw with its value?In Nebraska, I am treated like an adult, where I can hold a cell phone to my ear without being ticketed. As you know, that's illegal in Kalifornia, but you can hold a cheeseburger, or a coke, or any other object and its legal.In kalifornia as well as in Nebraska, they have those trash containers that role out the curb, but if in kalifornia, you cannot stuff EVERYTHING into it and decide to place a box, or a bag next to it, they leave it untouched. Not here.... you can have stacks of cardboard for the recycle pick up and they get out of their trucks, pick it up and actually role the cart back to the top of your driveway.In SoCal, the Sheriff controls the Control Carry permits and you can NEVER get one unless you can prove you need it. In Nebraska, they give them out like free condoms at Berkeley. Do you EVER hear about mass shootings in Nebraska......?Outside of SoCal, there are many tight nit communities that simply cannot exist there because everyone comes from someplace else and everyone stays to themselves. They drive home from work, open their garage doors and you won't see them again until it's time to work the next morning. There is a huge sense of community and comradery that doesn't exist in kalifornia. I know it's a broad brush assessment, but far too many kalifornian's are self centered and selfish. The weather was great, but there is more to life than a great tan......

In reply to by Not My Real Name

Barney08 Sep 6, 2017 6:16 PM Permalink

Boomers are moving out of their homes by the 1000s everyday. People have to deal with maybe not living in Boston, or Seattle. Who wants to live in Dorchester or Framingham in a 600k starter to work a shitty 70k job where your commute is 3 hrs a day?

Try moving. Try not being the victim of high housing prices. Relocate to somewhere where life is better. The coasts suck. I'm qualified to write this because I've lived on both and my best years where in Colo. to date.

Swampster (not verified) arby63 Sep 6, 2017 8:40 PM Permalink

I have an Koppen Oceanic Temperate Climate 400 miles inland and below the mason dixon line.....same climate as Vancouver, Portland, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, New Zealand, Great Britain and Cape Cod.....It's fucking Killer here!

In reply to by arby63

Full Court Lug… Sep 6, 2017 6:05 PM Permalink

This is why I don't get blackpilled about bubbles ("GAME OVER MAN THE FED WILL NEVER LET ANYTHING DROP EVER AGAIN CTRL+P MAN"). There are real-world factors that always, always kick in sooner or later. Housing only gets so expensive before no one can f#cking afford it anymore and people start moving out.Think of it this way: even a heroin addict with an infinite supply of smack still has to choose between eventually facing the withdrawal, or dying of an overdose. Reality always crushes fantasy in the end.

Anteater Sep 6, 2017 6:08 PM Permalink

STUDIO From $17171BR from $17572BR  from $2395A 350SF 1BR apartment here would cost more than my SS!I would have to give blood to have ramen and Pepsi to eat,but then I would need MC every month for the blood loss.Walking dogs could pay for the gas on my paid-cash-for car,but why work to pay gas, if you can't afford to go anywhere?Try flophouses!! Just 25% of my SS check with gigging work.Yes my friends, flophouses for SS elderly solves the crisis,and tent cities for those who haven't made it to SS yet.We can do this, America! We're with you!! MAGA!!

itstippy Anteater Sep 6, 2017 6:20 PM Permalink

The elderly need roomates, like young folks used to do straight out of High School.  Share expenses.  Use the same glass and Efferdent tablet to soak their dentures in, split the cabfare when they go to the food bank, buy the economy size bags of Old Roy and share them, that sort of thing.  Eight seniors will fit in a studio appartment if some of them sleep in chairs, which they're good at doing anyway.Golden Age Flophouses are a good idea also.  It's that kind of creative solution that makes America great.

In reply to by Anteater

EnragedUSMCExpat itstippy Sep 6, 2017 7:21 PM Permalink

Love to see the "Golden Age" flophouse you wind up in coward shitbag, you can share used Grampers with your fellow residents. We can still pull triggers sitting in chairs, and would relish the opportunituy to plug your diseased noggin between those empty running lights with a large caliber dose of hollow point lead. Fucking mewling, snivelling, bedwetting cunt. You and your parasitic ilk will be ERADICATED.Robert S. FinneganUnited States Marine CorpsJakarta,

In reply to by itstippy

itstippy EnragedUSMCExpat Sep 6, 2017 7:40 PM Permalink

Learn to recognize sarcasm.  It's a fundamental rhetorical technique.  Proposing government-sponsored "Golden Age Flophouses" for Social Security recipients is obvious sarcasm, along the lines of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal  where he suggested reducing the number of poor people in Ireland by allowing rich people in London to eat Irish babies.  Here's a section:”I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled ...”He got people's attention in 1729.

In reply to by EnragedUSMCExpat

itstippy EnragedUSMCExpat Sep 6, 2017 8:01 PM Permalink

Here's your biography, as you posted on Zerohedge:"Biography

Robert S. Finnegan is a retired investigative journalist, editor and journalism professor based in Jakarta Indonesia where he resides permanently with his spouse Imas Kurniawati-Finnegan. He is also the editor for The 5th Estate Asia, an ASEAN news bureau and USMC Veteran."So then, you are a "Journalism Professor" who does not recognize sarcasm and is unfamiliar with Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal.  

In reply to by EnragedUSMCExpat

EnragedUSMCExpat itstippy Sep 7, 2017 3:46 AM Permalink

An all too typical cribbed, canned response from a juvenile plagiarising pseudo-intellectual fraud attempting to cover for her initial fuck-up while diverting from the initial subject. Old hat, mindless millinneal dipshit - get a new playbook.a person who pretends an interest in intellectual matters for reasons of status. adjective. 3. of, relating to, or characterized by fraudulent intellectuality; unscholarly

In reply to by itstippy