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Marginal Revolution: The increasing costs of renting

The increasing costs of renting

Rent as a percentage of income is rising, which shouldn’t be considered surprising given both the economic fundamentals and the continued shift back towards high density living.

So what are the alternatives?

Suburban living is talked about in the comments, but there should be some discussion about it rent-wise. Once you get far enough outside the city, housing is cheaper. Also, as crime rates in aggregate fall, living in what was considered a “bad neighborhood” becomes less of a risk (barring other factors like school systems). Of course, that very idea is why gentrification exists.

As for me, I’m waiting for the white-collar employers of the world to consider expansion of telecommuting. It seems that people get this about at the same level they get salaried overtime (i.e. very poorly), so I shouldn’t be holding my breath. Still, the least expensive commute is no commute at all, and when you’re not getting paid more, the only other way to be in a better economic position is to spend less. Besides, slackening demand for housing will benefit the buyers at the expense of the owners, which given our current level of inequality is likely economically efficient.

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