Higher prices in US squeezing renters, would-be homeowners

Higher prices in US squeezing renters, would-be homeowners

By ALEX VEIGA

AP Business Writer

A diminished supply of available homes is swelling prices in large U.S. metro areas from New York to Miami to Los Angeles, squeezing out would-be buyers and pushing up rents as more people are forced to remain tenants.

The trend is pressuring Americans’ budgets, with about one-third of households spending more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing as of 2015, according to a report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Homeownership rates have stagnated in part because high rents have made it difficult for many prospective buyers to amass a down payment for a house.

At the same time, the sparse supply of available properties is benefiting existing homeowners, many of whose home values have recovered from the housing bust a decade ago.

The tight supply of homes and a shortage of affordable rental housing have improved little in recent years for a variety of reasons. Among the key factors is that construction has yet to regain the pace of homebuilding that predated the bust.

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