There’s No Shelter From Housing Inflation as Rents Rise

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance


That’s how much the average monthly rent increased in just the month of November, showing inflation is relentlessly hammering renters as well as homebuyers.

 The jump in rent, the biggest in at least two years, took the average to $1,985, real estate company Redfin said in a report Monday. That made for a 20.5% increase over the last 12 months, very close to the 19.9% increase in monthly mortgage payments that new homebuyers experienced over the same period, thanks to rising home prices. (By the way, if 6.8% seems like a familiar number, it also happens to be the latest inflation rate—but that’s how much overall prices rose in the year through November, not just in a single month. 

“If you are looking to buy or rent now, there’s nowhere to hide from inflation when it comes to housing costs,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. 

While renters and homebuyers are both experiencing inflation in the cost of housing, the pandemic’s economic upheavals have hit renters much harder than homeowners overall, especially since homeowners with locked-in mortgage rates haven’t had to pay a penny more for their living space (as long as they’re not moving). Indeed, homeowners as a group have fared better than some economists had expected, with very few losing their homes to foreclosures or forced sales after forbearance protections expired this fall. Renters, on the other hand, were more likely to rely on government pandemic relief programs, many of which are now history

The prospect that some of those programs—such as the expanded child tax credit—would be renewed next year in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better social spending bill was dealt a serious blow this weekend, after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, whose vote was crucial for passage of the legislation, said he wouldn’t support it.

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  1. Redfin. “Rental Market Tracker: Rents Jumped 7% in a Month, Up 21% From 2020.”

  2. Fox News. “Sen. Joe Manchin: 'I Cannot Vote' for Build Back Better Amid 'Real' Inflation.” Video.

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