Photo: Meredith Galante/Business Insider
As transportation costs rise like clockwork each year, there’s new evidence that consumer income hasn’t been able to keep up.In the largest 25 U.S. metros, consumers have paid 44 per cent more for housing and getting around over the last decade alone, according to a new study by the centre for Housing Policy. Middle-class family incomes, meanwhile, have only seen a 25 per cent bump.
Per the report, for every new dollar consumers add to their annual income, they pay another $1.75 for housing and transportation.
Of course, some metros have it worse than others.
Families in notoriously expensive Miami spend more than 70 per cent of their income on keeping a roof over their heads and getting around. They’re closely followed by middle-income residents in the Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., area (69 per cent), the Tampa, Fla. area (66 per cent), and the Los Angeles area (65 per cent).
There’s also a huge gap in how renters and homeowners are faring.
Renters come out on top. “For the typical moderate-income renter in the 25 metro areas studied, housing and transportation costs consume an average of 55 per cent of income,” the report says. “Moderate-income homeowners carrying a mortgage, however, face average costs of nearly 72 per cent of income.“
But there is still ground for renters to cover. “Despite lower burdens than homeowners, moderate-income renters are still barely making ends meet in many metro areas. In the LA metro area, where average housing + transportation costs consume 61 per cent of income for moderate-income renters, a typical renter household would not have enough left over at the end of the month to pay the minimum costs of food, health care, and other basic necessities. This would suggest these households are either cutting corners on essentials, or accruing debt.”
Here’s how the top 25 metro areas stacked up: