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How much harder are Americans working to pay rent?

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Posted at 1:26 PM, Nov 30, 2022

A new analysis from Zillow shows that Americans are having to work longer to pay for rent.

According to Zillow, Americans have to work 63 hours a month to pay for rent. Three years ago, it took renters about 57 hours of work to pay for a month of rent.

That’s because rent costs have outpaced wages. According to Zillow, wages have grown 23% in the last five years, but rent has gone up 36.9% in the same time period.

As the typical rent sits near $2,000, rent increases have outpaced wage growth in 46 out of 50 of America’s 50 largest metro areas.

"The rental market has cooled this year, but so far that has meant prices growing more slowly, not any real relief for renters," said Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow. "Rents were growing at a record pace for much of 2021, squeezing budgets for renters moving or renewing leases. Now, it appears more people are opting to double up with roommates or family, which means more vacancies and pressure on landlords to price their units competitively, offering some hope of relief on the horizon.”

Zillow reports that rent is around $2,040 a month. A similar analysis from Redfin shows rent costs dropped below $2,000 to $1,983.

Miami and Tampa have seen the largest real increases in rent costs, according to Zillow. Renters in San Francisco, Boston and San Jose are the only top 50 metro areas that have seen wages outpace rents.