Home sweet temporary home; a national study shows rent is more unaffordable than ever.
People's salaries aren't growing as fast as their rent rates. Rent is draining Mississippians' bank accounts.
"I had to manage all the money towards my rent," explained renter Kayla Gray. "So, I didn't have a lot left over to do anything else with because it was so high."
According to the Harvard study, nearly half of the renters across the country are spending 30 percent or more of their income on rent.
"All I hear, all predictions, is that it is tight," noted Carol Stewart. "It is expensive. It's going to continue to grow."
Carol Stewart is the president of the Central Mississippi Realtors Association. According to her, Mississippi is following the national trend for renting.
"I generally say is that if you're going to stay at home for at least two to five years, you can look for a good return on your investment," Stewart described. "So, some people that don't know if that's where they're going to be, they want to rent."
If you compare Mississippi housing costs to the rest of the country, they're moderate. But the median incomes are low in the state. That leaves more than a quarter of Mississippi renters shelling out half of their incomes for housing.
"A lot of times people don't know the affordability of housing," Stewart added. "They don't realize the rates are good and there's affordable lending programs out there so that they can buy."
And it's not just young people renting. The Harvard study shows the majority of America's renters are 40 and older.
Carol Stewart said there are several factors that contribute to the rise in renting.
Some people may have gotten out of home ownership during the 2008 housing crisis. Others are in careers that require more frequent moving and some just don't think they can afford to buy.
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