With the tax reform debate now fully underway, Apartment List examined the popular mortgage interest deduction (MID) and compared federal expenditure on the MID to spending on Section 8 rental assistance programs. In 2015, federal expenditure on the MID was more than double the funding for Section 8. Additionally, the MID is a highly regressive benefit, with 85 percent of expenditure going to high-income households.
Apartment List is committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available, and as part of our efforts toward that goal, we’ve made some changes to our methodology. These are the answers to frequently asked questions about Apartment List's new rent report methodology.
Why we are changing our rent methodology Apartment List publishes monthly reports on rental trends in U.S. cities and states. Renters and policymakers need good information in order to make sound decisions, and we invest significant time and effort in gathering and analyzing rent data. Our work is covered regularly by journalists across the country. Despite this, we recognize that our analysis has limitations. Today, we announce major updates to our methodology, which we believe addresses the shortcomings of other approaches. To provide transparency, this post outlines the limitations in current data sources, and the changes we have made.
In a nationwide survey of about 24,000 renters, Apartment List found that the 80 percent of millennial renters want to purchase a house or condo, but most are a long way from being able to afford to actually do so. Of those respondents who plan to purchase a home in the future, some 72 percent said affordability is the primary obstacle, and 68 percent of millennials said they have saved less than $1,000 for a down payment. Based on current savings rates, millennials in many metros will need a decade or more to save enough for a down payment.
The share of cost-burdened renter households in the US declined significantly last year, as median incomes increased faster than rents. Metropolitan areas in Texas performed exceptionally well, with low and declining shares of renters facing challenges with affordability. Also, despite skyrocketing rents in tech hubs like Seattle, Denver, and San Jose, the share of cost-burdened renters there remain lower than national averages. Despite these positive trends, housing continues to be unaffordable for more than half of renters nationwide. Metros in Florida and Southern California continue to struggle, with high rates of cost-burdened renters in Miami (63.9%), Los Angeles (58.6%), and