Nearly half of San Luis Obispo County renters spend more than the recommended portion of their income on housing, according to a recently released housing survey.
But we’re still better off than some places in California, just maybe not where you’d expect.
About 48 percent of renters throughout the county are “cost-burdened,” meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, according to an Apartment List survey that compared rent to income from 2005 to 2016.
Twenty-two percent of San Luis Obispo County renters spend 30 to 50 percent of their income on housing, making them moderately cost-burdened. Nearly 26 percent of renters spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent, making them severely cost-burdened.
Although almost half of American renters are cost-burdened, that number has recently declined — a trend that’s due to renter incomes increasing faster than rents, according to the survey.
Even so, fewer cost-burdened renters doesn’t necessarily mean all renters are making more money. The number of high-income renters has actually increased, driving down the number of those who are considered cost-burdened.
For example, Fresno and Riverside are among the top-10 cost-burdened metro areas in the United States, while San Francisco and San Jose, where rents are higher, have fewer cost-burdened renters.
About 61 percent of Fresno metro area residents are cost-burdened, as are about 58 percent of Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area residents.
Nearly 47 percent of San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area residents are cost-burdened, which is also the case for about 48 percent of San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area residents.
Although rents are cheaper in Fresno and Riverside, renters’ incomes have risen more dramatically in San Francisco and San Jose. These areas have also priced out many low-income residents, which means that even though the cost of living is high, a smaller proportion of the remaining renters are cost-burdened.
Here’s a look the rental cost burden for other notable California communities:
▪ Bakersfield metro area, 55 percent
▪ Monterey County, 55 percent
▪ San Diego-Carlsbad metro area, 57 percent
▪ Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metro area, 58 percent
▪ Santa Barbara County, 60 percent
▪ Santa Cruz-Watsonville metro area, 60 percent
▪ Chico metro area, 66 percent