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Bay Area Residents Spending More On Rent Each Year Than Before Recession

San Francisco. Though prices have dropped a bit recently, it remains the most expensive place to rent an apartment in the country.

Bay Area rents are eating away at household incomes more than in past years. San Jose renters are spending 39% of their monthly incomes on rents, or $13,525 more than previous years as of Q3. Before the recession, rent accounted for 26% of monthly incomes. This increase is more than any other metro analyzed in a recent Zillow report.

The second-biggest increase was in San Francisco, where renters are paying $11,236 more on rents, or 42.4% of monthly incomes compared to before the recession when renters spent 30% of monthly income on rent. Sacramento, comparatively, had a minimal increase of $37 annually for renters, who are spending 31.8% of their monthly incomes on rent.

National rents require 29.1% of median monthly income, nearly $2K more than before the recession when renters spent 25.8% of their monthly median income on housing.

Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said putting more income toward rent means people have less income to pay off student debt, build an emergency fund or save for retirement. It also means less money for a down payment on a home.

“This is another example of how much worse rent affordability has gotten,” Gudell said.