The percentage of Texas' renting households 

JCHS: More Texas renters struggling to afford housing

Jan 31, 2020

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The percentage of Texas’ renting households that spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing is rising at a faster rate than the state’s population, according to an analysis from the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS). 

In 2008, 1.3 million Texas households that rent were moderately or severely cost-burdened. By 2018, that number rose to 1.7 million. That’s nearly half of Texas renters. 

“In terms of other states, this is kind of in the middle of the pack,” said JCHS Research Associate Whitney Airgood-Obrycki. “But Texas is seeing affordability pressures grow maybe faster than the rest of the country.”

“Housing costs, including rents, have risen more rapidly than household incomes,” said Real Estate Center Chief Economist Dr. Jim Gaines. “Consequently, this has put a burden on households in terms of the percentage of income they have to apply toward housing costs.”

Gaines said the average effective rental rate in Texas’ major metros is well over $1,000 a month.

Meanwhile, the number of renter households in Texas is growing at twice the rate of owner households. According to the report, this can have long-term effects on families’ wealth, as the number of people that gain equity through home ownership decreases.

One reason for the state’s high percentage of renters, Gaines said, is Texas’ high number of young residents. He said many are simply at an age where they’re more inclined to rent, plus many are in a tough position to come up with a down payment for a home.

Additionally, Airgood-Obrycki said that while new housing is being built across the state, almost none of it is affordable.