Despite rising gas and grocery prices, housing remains the biggest cost to Americans, according to data from Morning Consult. Housing accounted for 35% of all consumer spending in February 2022, with the average American shelling out $1,151.
Not all Americans are being affected equally, though. Members of Gen Z reported the largest increase in housing prices, with their monthly spending rising 34% from last year. Those earning less than $50,000 experienced the largest increase in housing prices, compared to middle-income and high-income earners.
Overall, renters have experienced a 15% increase in housing costs since February 2021.
And as mortgage rates rise, it becomes more expensive to buy, meaning homeownership gets more and more out of reach. That in turn boosts demand for rentals and allows landlords to charge more.
“Rents are up $284 per month through February as well, making it much harder for renters to save up for the largest hurdle to home ownership — the down payment,” says Zillow spokesperson Mark Stayton.
Even with recent increases, there are major cities that still offer reasonable rents. Here are the top 10 cities where rent is cheapest for a two-bedroom property, according to furniture shopping site Living Cozy.
Average rent: $1,298
Average rent: $1,217
Average rent: $1,197
Average rent: $1,166
Average rent: $1,053
Average rent: $1,044
Average rent: $1,042
Average rent: $1,032
Average rent: $1,020
Average rent: $895
If you don’t want to relocate but rent in your city continues to climb, be sure to communicate with your landlord. Some tenants are able to negotiate payment plans. Landlords might also give you a deal for signing a longer lease.
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