U.S. home sales skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic – hitting a 15-year high of 6.1 million in 2021. The spike in demand, coupled with declining inventory, have put upward pressure on housing prices. Renters have not been spared, as housing has become one of the key drivers of surging U.S. inflation.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank, a family of four – two adults and two children – can expect to pay an estimated $15,031 on housing in 2022. This amount varies across the country, however. In some states housing costs are far lower than the national average, while in others, families are paying thousands more.
Using data from the EPI’s Family Budget Calculator, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states where families pay the most in housing. States are ranked on 2022 estimates of housing and utility costs for a modest two-bedroom rental.
Depending on the state, housing costs for a family of four range from less than $9,000 a year to well over $20,000. Generally, states with higher than average housing costs are coastal, bordered by the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, while states with lower than average housing costs are usually landlocked or located in the Deep South. This variation in cost is partially a reflection of what residents can afford, as states with higher rental costs also often have higher than average family incomes, and vice-versa. Here is a look at the income needed to be middle class in each state.
Home values also tend to be higher in areas with high housing costs, making homeownership prohibitively expensive for larger shares of the population – which may help explain why homeownership rates are often low in the states with the most expensive housing. Here is a look at the mortgage rate in America every year since 1972.
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