Renters in the US are almost twice as likely as homeowners to worry about covering their housing costs, a Gallup report released last week suggests.
Lower-income Americans are more likely to worry about housing costs than those with higher incomes regardless of whether they rent or own. However, according to the report, renters at all income levels are more likely to be concerned than homeowners. In total, 49 percent of American renters said they are “very” or “moderately” worried about keeping up with their housing costs. For homeowners, that amount was just 25 percent.
Gallup suggests that American homeowners as a whole are less worried about housing costs than renters “because they likely have more stable housing payments.” For example, most homeowners have fixed principal and interest payments on their mortgages, and experience only small increases in property taxes and insurance each year.
By contrast, renters may have to contend with bigger increases in their month-to-month costs. Additionally, those who are renting because they are unable to buy — perhaps due to personal debt or insufficient savings — may simply be more concerned about their finances in general.
These trends are not surprising. Gallup’s report is based on 5,000 combined interviews completed as part of its 2013-2016 Economy and Personal Finance survey, and in the 16 years it has conducted the survey it has “consistently found that renters are more worried than homeowners about making housing payments, both overall and by household income level.”
However, what has changed in that time is the number of Americans who own their homes. According to Gallup, while the US homeownership rate was 73 percent from 2005 to 2007, since then it has dropped to 63 percent.
That shift, combined with slow wage growth and higher rental costs, means that it is “understandable” — though not laudable — “that an increasing percentage of Americans are worried about meeting one of their most basic financial obligations”