RE/MAX tiny home auction raises $47,000 for children’s healthcare

Inmannews - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:40am
As part of the real estate giant's Tiny Homes for Tiny Tots campaign, the money will go to children with health problems and pediatric medical research at participating CMN hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.
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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices adds C21 Commonwealth to stable of franchisees

Inmannews - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:37am
Century 21 Commonwealth, a brokerage with 500 agents in the greater Boston market, has shed its ties to Century 21 to join Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
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Sacramento had state’s second highest rent increase. But there’s good news for tenants, too

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:35am

Sacramento residents faced the second highest rent increases among major California cities in the last year, continuing a five-year upward swing, a new analysis shows.

But the news is not entirely bad.

The capital city’s 2.5 percent yearly increase as of August was tame compared to earlier years when rent increases were among the highest in the nation, including nearly 10 percent last year, according to national online broker Apartment List.

Local real estate watchers say a recent increase in new apartment construction appears to be moderating Sacramento’s rising rents, bringing them closer to normal range after several superheated years.

“We’re definitely seeing an easing,” said Bob Shanahan, a Sacramento-area rental market analyst for Colliers International, a global real estate services and investment management company. “It’s kind of a return to normal. The increases in 2016-2017 were unsustainable.”

Colliers’ own analysis of the four-county metro area – Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado – found rents to be 3.8 percent higher during the April-May-June period this year than during the same months in 2017.

“Sacramento still ranks 9th among the top 50 U.S. metros in rent growth after averaging 7.4 percent per year from 2013 to 2018,” the Colliers analysis says.

The latest reports come amid ongoing rent control debates locally and statewide. Proposition 10 on the November ballot would repeal the existing Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, allowing cities more latitude to control rents.

Sacramento city officials, meanwhile, face pressure to find affordable housing for the lowest-income residents. Of the 5,500 housing-unit building permits issued by the city between 2015 and 2017, only 98 were for apartments or houses that people earning minimum wage or a little higher could afford, according to a city review this summer.

That leaves the city less than 10 percent of the way toward its 2021 housing target for low- and very-low income households, based on goals set by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg on Tuesday proposed a limited set of rent controls: A 5 percent rent increase cap for three years that would only apply to units that are at least 20 years old in buildings with at least five units.

Builders immediately opposed the mayor’s plan, saying rent control will stifle apartment construction.

Several other council members announced a competing plan that they want the council to pass this year.

That proposed ordinance, pitched by Eric Guerra, Steven Hansen and Rick Jennings, would require landlords to offer 18-month leases to new tenants, have a third-party mediator settle rent increase disputes and create a fund to help pay for affordable housing projects.

The new Apartment List data show that Sacramento and valley neighbors to the south, Fresno and Bakersfield, remain the least expensive major cities in California for renters to live, more aligned with rent levels elsewhere in the U.S. than with coastal California.

Apartment List set the average rent in the city of Sacramento in August at $1,210 for a two-bedroom unit. Colliers, which looked at the four-county area, put the average local rent at $1,374 during a three-month period this spring.

San Francisco has the highest average rent in the state this summer, $3,100 per month for a two bedroom apartment, followed by San Jose, where two-bedroom unit rent averaged $2,640, according to Apartment List.

Apartment and other housing construction came to a near complete halt during the mortgage meltdown and recession several years ago. Analysts say that lack of new units, coupled with a surge of new arrivals, some of them young emigrees from the Bay Area, caused Sacramento rents to rise quickly since 2013.

Shanahan of Colliers International said Sacramento has gained cachet among millennials in their 20s and 30s as a “cool city to settle down in.”

In the last year, rental construction has increased in the region. Colliers reports that 886 new rental units were added in the four-county metro region in the first half of this year, and another 1,322 are expected to open by the end of the year.

Those include large projects such as the Ice Blocks and The Hardin in downtown Sacramento as well as big projects recently opened or under construction in Rocklin, Folsom and West Sacramento.

The numbers of new housing units, however, do not yet meet the demand, said economist Jeffrey Michael of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, suggesting rent will likely continue to rise. Colliers forecasts a 2 to 3 percent increase per year.

Colliers International, in its latest rental report, noted that occupancy rates in the region were still very high at the midpoint of this year – over 96 percent – meaning that apartments continue to be at a premium, allowing developers and landlords to tilt toward higher rates.

Rents for many new units often top $2 per square foot. One of the region’s more recent openings, the 260-unit Garnet Creek Apartments in Rocklin is advertising its least expensive one-bedroom, 795-square-foot units at $1,720 a month.



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How to Set Up a Smart Lock for Your Airbnb or Rental Property

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:30am

If you own a short-term rental property, you know how inconvenient it can be to meet up with guests to hand off keys.

That’s why many rental companies and online booking services, such as Airbnb and VRBO, are embracing smart locks. (VRBO stands for “Vacation Rentals by Owner,” and is owned by HomeAway.)

Internet-connected smart locks replace or augment your property’s existing deadbolt and give you the ability to create access codes (for use with a keypad that’s connected to the lock) and electronic keys (where a smartphone app acts as the key).

“We’ve tested a few smart locks that don’t even have physical keyholes,” says Dave Trezza, CR’s door lock test engineer. “The only way to open them is with a keypad or an electronic key.”

Having a smart lock on your rental means you don’t have to be around to give guests a key, and you can see when they come and go. You’ll know that they made it inside successfully, whether they’re having trouble with the lock, and when they’ve vacated on checkout day, so you can get in to clean.

Some locks even integrate with online booking services to issue access codes or electronic keys automatically to guests with reservations; at checkout time, access automatically expires. Both Airbnb and HomeAway offer this capability for specific smart locks, which we’ll cover below.

“Typically, we see that people overwhelmingly prefer the security and convenience of our fully automated solution,” says Eric Moore, HomeAway’s vice president of product management.

If you’re interested in using a smart lock to give guests access to your rental, you have a choice to make. You can go with the automated method available on select smart locks that work with Airbnb and HomeAway, or you can do it yourself.

Below we walk you through both methods.

Whichever smart lock you go with, make sure it includes all the hardware you need to connect it directly to the internet. It might seem surprising, but many smart locks don’t come with a built-in ability to connect to the internet. Instead, they connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth when you’re nearby.

Most standalone smart locks, such as the CR-rated August Smart Lock Pro, need an extra device called a WiFi bridge to connect directly to the internet. These bridges can range in price from about $60 to $100, depending on the brand, though some brands bundle bridge and lock in one package (August Smart Lock Pro + Connect).

And if you’re still a little fuzzy on smart locks, check out CR’s smart-lock buying guide as well as our complete smart-lock ratings.

Option 1: The Hands-Off Method

First, you’ll need a smart lock that works with your booking service.

For Airbnb, different locks are compatible in different regions and countries. The best way for you to find a compatible lock is to go to the Airbnb Host Assist portal. An Airbnb spokesperson did call out August smart locks and LockState smart locks as examples.

HomeAway confirmed compatibility with multiple smart-lock brands, specifically August, LockState, and ResortLock.

For smart locks that aren’t directly compatible with Airbnb or HomeAway, there’s a service called VirtualKey that acts as a bridge between these booking services and certain smart locks. VirtualKey works with a few CR-tested smart locks: the Schlage Connect and Yale touch-screen deadbolts.

How to get your smart lock connected to a booking service will differ by service as well as lock brand. We recommend starting with the lock provider’s app to see whether there are prompts for Airbnb or HomeAway integrations in one of the menus. If not, check the Airbnb Host Assist website or your HomeAway Owner Dashboard. If you’re using VirtualKey, you’ll want to sign up and follow the prompts.

Here’s one example:

With an August smart lock, you connect to Airbnb from the app by going to Account, then August Access, then August Works With. For HomeAway, you would start from the HomeAway Owner Dashboard on HomeAway’s website. Once there, navigate to Hospitality, then Add-Ons, then Door Locks. At that menu level, select August. You’ll be redirected to August’s website and asked to log in with your credentials to authenticate the account.

With the direct integrations for Airbnb and HomeAway, guests will automatically receive their access codes or electronic keys ahead of their stay, though the timing varies. According to Airbnb, it varies by smart lock brand. As for HomeAway, a spokesperson says the host can choose a delivery time, so long as it’s at least three days prior to check-in.

If you’re concerned about giving these services this kind of control, CR’s program manager for privacy and security, Robert Richter, says you should be—or at least be thinking carefully about it.

“You should always be wary of giving a company this level of control over your property, as there’s always a chance their system can be compromised,” Richter says. “But that’s not unique to this situation. Typically, large companies with a long history with technology, like Airbnb, put a lot of effort into engineering a secure experience. But always make sure to read the information they give you.”

Option 2: The Do-It-Yourself Method

If you’re nervous about outsourcing access to your property, you can opt for the do-it-yourself method. It requires more work on your part but gives you total control over who receives access and when that access is granted and revoked.

The process is similar across lock brands, though not identical. Open your smart lock’s mobile app and look for a menu button that says Guests, People, Access Codes, Electronic Keys, or some variation of those terms. From there, follow the prompts to choose whether to create an access code or electronic key.

Some smart locks, such as the Schlage Sense, give you both options, while other locks only give you one option. (The Kwikset Kevo, for instance, offers only electronic keys.) For access codes, you’ll be able to create a PIN of your choosing that’s four to eight digits long.

To create the code or key, you’ll be prompted to name a recipient and possibly add his or her email address or phone number. You might also have the option of choosing a length of time for the code or key to remain active, handy for programming the access to automatically expire at checkout.

If your lock doesn’t have that option, you’ll need to go back into the app and delete the guest’s code/key after checkout. Once it’s set up, some smart lock apps will offer to send the code or key to your guest. Of course, you can also do that yourself.


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Could this tax on vacant properties help end homelessness?

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:22am

Like many Oakland residents, Candice Elder, 34, is alarmed at the rapidly increasing number of people pitching tents on sidewalks and under freeways in the city.

Unlike most residents, Elder has worked at dozens of homeless encampments as part of a team providing “rapid response services on call 24-7,” including food, crisis management, and medical assistance.

“The rate of homelessness has dramatically increased in the last few years. And you can correlate that to the affordability crisis,” said Elder, founder and director of The East Oakland Collective nonprofit, as she visited a 65-year old woman sitting on a corner, surrounded by piles of belongings.

It could take years to build more affordable housing, but Elder sees a faster way to relieve homelessness in the city.

“There’s a lot of vacant properties that haven’t been used for years,” said Elder, as she pointed to a fenced, empty parcel next to the encampment she visited on a recent morning. “As a city and as a community, we need to take a look at these vacant public and private lands and see how we can use them.”

Voters will decide on taxing owners of vacant properties

Oakland voters could approve the state’s first tax on privately owned vacant properties in November. The city estimates the tax could raise as much as $10 million annually for homeless services, blight remediation and to stem illegal dumping. Tax revenue would also go toward new affordable housing.

Owners of properties in use fewer than 50 days per year would be taxed as much as $6,000 per parcel annually if two-thirds of voters approve the measure in November.

Two weeks after the Oakland City Council voted 6-2 to place the tax on the ballot, officials in the neighboring city of Richmond greenlighted a similar proposal.

Owners of vacant properties would pay the same amount of additional tax, regardless of the size or worth of their property. Under California law, cities cannot legally tie a parcel tax to market values.

Critics worry the tax could disproportionately hurt small landowners, pushing some to sell their property to investors that can pay Oakland’s skyrocketing market values. But proponents praise the tax as a creative incentive to transform thousands of vacant lots and buildings into homes or businesses, and at the same time decrease blight.

“We are looking not only to get rid of the trash, the weeds, the types of problems you might see, but also to encourage people to do something that would be of benefit to the community,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who authored the measure.

In just two years, the city’s homeless population increased by 25 percent to nearly 2,800 people, according to the most recent survey of Alameda County. But some homeless advocates say that’s a severe undercount because many people who are couch surfing or sleeping in cars were not included.

Property owner sees benefits, but objects to tax

Oakland resident Francisco Acosta agrees with the goal of encouraging more productive uses for vacant properties.

The father of three said an empty parcel next to his home attracts trash and drug use. A gunfight in the lot once sent a stray bullet through a bedroom in his house, he said.

But Acosta, who also owns a lot labeled as vacant by the county assessor’s office, doubted the tax would encourage him to build the duplex he previously planned for his land. He was dismayed after learning city permits would cost about $35,000 and take a year to process.

“It doesn’t make sense to just try to penalize people with taxes for not having something built on their lot when they are making it difficult for everybody to build something,” said Acosta, who is growing potatoes, bell peppers, and other vegetables on the plot instead.

He might not be subject to the tax if the city defines gardening as an active use of the property. But Acosta contemplated that if he is faced with a new $6,000 tax assessment each year, he would likely sell.

“It’d be too much money to pay,” he said. “The tax will pressure people into selling or building, but most likely selling for those who don’t have time, money and energy to deal with the tax.”

Building new housing in Oakland is an expensive proposition. While construction costs can vary significantly based on the size and amenities of a project, the city estimates 1,000 square feet of new construction costs about $200,000.

Permitting fees for a three-bedroom home can total more than $25,000, according to Oakland’s planning and building department.

Councilwoman Kaplan said she understands small property owners face barriers to build housing the city desperately needs. Her tax measure would give them financial assistance to design and construct affordable units.

Nonprofits and low-income owners would be exempt from the tax, as well as others who can prove financial hardship.

Kaplan suspects the majority of vacant properties are being held by owners as a speculative investment in Oakland’s hot real estate market.

“People who may not have the connection and the motivation to do something with them, and especially a lot of big corporate speculators,” said Kaplan. “And so the vacant property tax will help us keep track of who owns them, what they’re doing with them.”

Measure lacks clarity, critics say

About 4,400 bare lots could be subject to the tax plus an unknown number of vacant residential, commercial and industrial buildings, according to a report by Katano Kasaine, Oakland’s finance director.

Critics decried that lack of clarity, arguing it’s unfair to ask voters to decide on the tax in November.

“It’d be great to have a list first before you went about taxing people on it,” said Kiran Shenoy, government affairs director for the Oakland Berkeley Association of Realtors. “We don’t know whether or not this is going to end up disenfranchising a lot of small Oakland property owners.”

He stressed that although the measure has several exemptions, it will be up to the landowners to prove they qualify.

A recent study by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley found most vacant parcels in the city are small, fit for a single family house or duplex.

Author Hayley Raetz dug through county data that suggests 57 percent of vacant land owners in the city only hold one parcel. But she cautions that percentage is likely overblown in part because owners can create individual LLCs or limited liability companies for each property they buy.

“That’s where it gets tricky, unfortunately. Sometimes you see lots that have owners with different first names and the same last name. But it’s hard to tell if that’s a family or if it’s just a common last name,” Raetz said.

Implementing tax measure will be key

Land use experts and others following the debate said that while they support the concept of the tax, much of the proposal’s effectiveness depends on how the city would put it into action.

“We do have some concerns about how it will be implemented, starting with the definition of what constitutes a vacancy,” said Sarah Karlinsky, senior policy adviser at SPUR, a think tank focused on urban planning in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization sent a letter to city leaders recommending they clarify that definition.

A parcel that hosts a farmers market once a week would be considered active, said Councilwoman Kaplan. But Karlinksy said enforcement even in that scenario could prove difficult.

“Monitoring that from the public sector side is really tough,” she said. “Like, are they going to send people out every week to make sure Joe had his farmers market?”

Proponents for the tax point to other cities that have tried taxing empty homes and blighted properties, such as Vancouver, British Columbia and Washington, D.C. as examples of efforts to make land more productive while funding city services.

“I think this vacant property tax is brilliant,” said Paula Hawthorn, adding that she is tired of walking by abandoned-looking storefronts near her Oakland home. “It’s a good way to stop people from holding on to their property for speculation.”

For James Vann, a retired architect who pushed for the tax, the exemptions in Oakland’s measure, and the city’s promise to work out the details, are enough to move forward.

The tax would be in place no sooner than 2020, giving the city time to ramp up the effort and create a registry of properties.

Vann believes the measure, which would expire in 20 years, represents an opportunity to fund homeless services the city is struggling to afford.

“There’s just no money there in the budget,” said Vann, a member of the Homeless Advocacy Working Group. “The homelessness problem is one that we are facing now, that is critical. We can’t wait.”



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The top five amenities coming to an apartment near you

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:19am

A personal sous chef, pet concierge services, Pilates classes and a voice-control system that will pay your rent: When it comes to apartment living, it’s all about the amenities.

Across the industry, we’re seeing continued innovation as community owners satisfy their residents’ specific needs. In addition to technological advances, increased service offerings that cater to the on-the-go lifestyle of the typical young professional or millennial renter are on the rise.

So what’s the latest in the amenities market? According to apartment owners across the industry, here are the top five amenity trends to watch for:

Riding in style

With the rise of ride-hailing programs such as Lyft and Uber, combined with continued concern for the environment, many communities are ramping up their transportation offerings. In urban areas especially, where parking premiums are high, property owners are encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives to car ownership.

Some, such as the Memphis-based Fogelman property management company, have launched bike-rental programs, while others have established partnerships with Lyft and Uber, installing pickup/drop-off (PUDO) stations right outside a property’s front door to make the process as seamless and accessible as possible. Communities with custom resident apps have even started to explore building this option into their interface.

Ramping up on fitness

On-site fitness centers may no longer be a novelty, but they continue to be a big draw. Today, we see more properties taking this fitness trend to the next level, investing in state-of-the-art equipment, comparable with what you might find at a gym. And though we still see the standard treadmill, elliptical, bike and weight sets in many places, more communities are adding in-house yoga studios, Pilates and barre classes, and other group-based activities.

These advanced options are exclusive to residents, offering convenience and the opportunity to build a sense of community. For residents with a busy lifestyle, the option to work out and connect with others, all within the confines of their own residence — and with the cost rolled into the price of rent — is particularly appealing.

Forget amenities for humans — it’s all about the animals

For the animal-lover looking for a pet-friendly environment, there is an increasing number of options.

Looking for someone to walk your dog or take your cat to the groomers while you’re at work or on vacation? Some communities are now offering pet concierge services.

Others are taking it a step further, with on-site grooming services, dog parks, and pet spas.

For property owners looking to attract young professionals already juggling a full plate, along with home and pet care, these are important services to consider.

All in one

An urgent-care clinic, a mini-market and maid service? Being on the cutting edge of apartment living is no longer just about providing a nice place for residents to live and a few VIP amenities. Residents are seeking out convenience more than ever, so the more on-site services a community can offer, the better.

These in-house offerings might include basic health services, a small shop with food and cosmetic items, an alternative working space, and dry-cleaning services. Chicago’s Gallery on Wells community even has an on-site sous chef to support meal preparation.

In the Washington area, Ten at Clarendon has introduced a community “library” that provides residents access to an assortment of leisure items. Having a get-together? Folding chairs, coolers, lawn games, golf clubs, and other sporting equipment are available — in prime condition — for residents’ complimentary use.

Smarter technology

The modern apartment resident is no stranger to utilizing a smartphone for everyday tasks. By partnering with tech innovators such as Valet Living to develop customized community apps, managers are able to meet residents right where they are — enhancing communication ease and efficiency.

But apps are merely the beginning. According to a recent study by Entrata, more than 57 percent of residents nationwide are willing to increase their rent by at least $20 to have a “smart apartment,” and approximately 25 percent are willing to increase their rent by more than $31 per month.

Though communities have been experimenting with smart-home tech for years, the rise of Amazon’s Alexa and other voice assistants has encouraged community owners to take a more fully integrated approach with voice control and sensors. Now residents can take advantage of a full menu of commands relevant to their needs. Realized your rental payment is nearly due? No need to find your checkbook or even log in to an app. A simple “Alexa, pay my rent” will do.

Bluetooth shower heads, motion-detector thermostats and other devices originally reserved for smart homes are all making their way into the rental housing space.

The variety and volume of amenities available to today’s renter is ever expanding as communities find new and different ways to cater to their clientele. Ultimately, the goal of any manager is to create a place where residents feel at home. If there’s an amenity you’d like to see in your community, suggest it — you never know where the next trend might begin.


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Lower-Income Renters Pay Almost 2/3 of Their Income to Afford Even Modest Apartments

American Apartment Owners Association - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:12am
  • Mortgage affordability – the share of median household income needed to afford a typical U.S. home – reached 17.5 percent in the second quarter 2018, higher than it’s been in nine years, but well below the historical average of 21.2 percent.
  • Lower-income renters paid a staggering 62.7 percent of their income for the most affordable third of rentals nationally in the second quarter 2017. In 17 of the country’s largest 35 metro areas, the ratio is even higher.
  • More than half of renting households in 12 of the 35 largest metro areas spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent.

The share of income needed to afford housing continues to climb, driven largely by the fact that incomes are not keeping up with the rising cost of housing and, in the case of mortgages, rising interest rates. For people who make less money, it’s a big stretch – and in some markets, impossible – to afford even lower-priced housing on their own.

Mortgage affordability – the share of median household income needed to afford the monthly mortgage payment on a typical U.S. home – reached 17.5 percent in the second quarter 2018, up from 15.4 percent a year earlier and higher than it’s been in nine years. It remains well below the historical average of 21.2 percent, in part because – despite recent rises – mortgage rates remain lower than historic norms.

It’s bound to worsen as home values and mortgage rates continue to increase. Rising rates also can lead homeowners to hold onto their property longer than they might otherwise because they don’t want to face the higher rates that would come with a move – a phenomenon called mortgage rate lock-in that could reduce already-tight inventory for buyers.

Renters have it worse: They pay a far greater share of their income for housing – 28.4 percent in the second quarter, well above the 25.8 percent renters spent historically. The good news is that rent affordability has eased a bit as rent growth has slowed and rents have even declined somewhat in a handful of markets; it was 28.9 percent at the same time last year.

For a household earning the median U.S. income of $60,748 in the second quarter, the difference between spending 17.5 percent of it on the typical mortgage ($10,631 a year) and 28.4 percent for the median rent ($17,252) comes to $6,621 – roughly the amount the U.S. Department of Agriculture says a thrifty family of four with young children should spend on groceries. All incomes for this analysis are before taxes.

That already stark difference grows wider in part because incomes are growing so much more slowly than home values. The median household income rose just 2.8 percent over the past year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, while the median U.S. home value climbed 8 percent over the past year.

Smaller Incomes, Bigger Problems

Housing affordability is especially problematic for households at the lower end of the income spectrum.

As of Q2 2017,[1] households making the lower third of income nationally could expect to pay 23.9 percent of their income on a mortgage for a home valued at the median of the bottom third of all homes nationally, up from 20.8 percent in the second quarter 2016. Upper-third earners paid just 12.9 percent for a high-end home, up from 11.7 percent.

Again, renters have it worse – and particularly lower-income renters, who in the second quarter 2017 paid a staggering 62.7 percent of their income for a median rental in the bottom third of rents nationally, down slightly from 62.9 percent a year earlier.

In 17 of the country’s largest 35 metros, the ratio is even higher. In notoriously pricey Los Angeles, New York, and San Jose, the median lower-income household cannot realistically afford even the median low-end rental: Median bottom-tier rents in those markets require an impossible 121.2 percent, 102.9 percent and 99.8 percent of their income, respectively. This means lower-income renters in these areas will need to apply for housing assistance, find one or more roommates and/or take on a second or third job to make ends meet.

Even typically more-affordable markets not historically out of reach now require a significant chunk of low-income renters’ dollars for even for the most affordable rentals. In Chicago, it’s 69.3 percent. In Houston, 66.1 percent. In Philadelphia, 65 percent.

Renter households in the top-third of income earners paid far less – 20.3 percent – of their income for a median rental in the priciest third of rents in the second quarter 2017. That’s up slightly from 19.8 percent a year earlier.

The least affordable market for high earners is also Los Angeles, but for them, that means “just” a 30.2 percent outlay of income for a higher-end rental, a 91 percentage point difference from lower-income households renting lower-end rentals.

No Safety Net

Even for higher-income earners, exceeding that 30 percent threshold can be problematic. Experts say people should not spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing – mortgages or rents.

But some have no choice.

In fact, almost half (49.6 percent), of renting households nationwide, or 20.3 million, pay more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent.[2] Paying more than 30 percent of income on housing costs means less income available to afford everyday expenses like groceries and gas – let alone curveball expenses like a medical bill, car repair or even something as simple as a parking ticket.

More than half of renting households in 12 of the 35 largest metro areas spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent. They are led by Riverside, Calif., where 61.6 percent of renting households spend more than 30 percent. It’s followed by Miami at 60.3 percent, Los Angeles at 59.4 percent and Orlando at 57.5 percent.

According to earlier research, among renters paying more than 36 percent of their incomes on rent, 60 percent report they have no savings at al,. In many ways, they are at the mercy of their next parking ticket or medical bill. They’re also forced to make difficult decisions:

  • They can stay put, often avoiding the worst rent increases by sticking with their landlords long-term.
  • They can live with their parents or double up (although this research already is based on household incomes, people with roommates may not have included the incomes of everyone pitching in).
  • They also can settle for substandard housing, which sometimes – but not always – means a break on the rent. It’s a choice that can be a slippery slope into an eviction cycle that sometimes ends in homelessness.
  • If they’re lucky, they have a housing voucher that limits the amount they spend on rent to 30 percent of their income.


[1] The most recent date for which data on the distribution of household incomes are available.

[2] According to an analysis of 2016 ACS microdata made available by IPUMS



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Real estate’s new disruptors: The ‘PayPal Mafia’

Inmannews - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 9:24am
A group of hard-charging, investor-entrepreneurs who have built some of the world's most iconic tech companies have launched a multi-pronged assault on the real estate industry.
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Zillow Offers officially launches in Atlanta

Inmannews - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 5:39am
Zillow Offers is launching Monday in Atlanta. It’s the third market for the neophyte direct-to-consumer homebuying and selling program, which launched in Phoenix back in April of this year.
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In-House Realty rebrands as Rocket Homes, launches portal to rival Zillow

Inmannews - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 3:00am
In-House Realty, a sister company to lending giant Quicken Loans is rebranding as “Rocket Homes,” and launching a new consumer-facing home search site in its first step to creating an end-to-end homebuying platform.
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Who is your luxury client? Understanding varying wealth levels

Inmannews - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 2:25am
Do you know how an ultra-wealthy resident of “Richistan” differs from a “Millionaire Next Door”? Understanding the psychology of each group is the key to attracting and keeping ultra-high-net-worth clients.
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Yes, agents need a mobile app. No, it’s not as hard as you think.

Inmannews - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 12:01am
The most visited websites on the planet — Google, YouTube, Facebook and Amazon — all have companion apps. This isn’t a surprise when you consider most people spend 60 percent of their time on mobile devices.
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5 fantastic objection handlers you can use today

Inmannews - Mon, 09/10/2018 - 12:01am
Does getting an objection strike fear throughout your core? Does it stop you in your tracks? Does it throw off your presentation? The way I see it, getting an objection simply means the other party is engaged and considering your offer. Therefore, take the hint — they’re giving you an opportunity to move one step closer to a “yes.”
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8 gorgeous property websites that’ll inspire your marketing

Inmannews - Sat, 09/08/2018 - 2:00am
If you are in need of a reboot for your property marketing, look no further. These eight gorgeous property websites have all the inspiration you need to elevate your next listing on the web.
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Compass’ smart real estate signs and listings are coming to Waze

Inmannews - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 4:38pm
Compass just announced that its property listings and real estate signs will appear as pins on the Waze GPS navigation app’s live map.
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First list honoring top-producing LGBT+ real estate agents released

Inmannews - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 4:23pm
The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) has released NAGLREP Top LGBT+ Agent List, the first-ever list honoring the top-producing LGBT and allied real estate agents and teams across the United States.
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Investment firm Marcus & Millichap expands into Montreal

Inmannews - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 12:51pm
Marcus & Millichap has acquired Montreal-based McGill Commercial, a move that brings the number of Canadian markets the company operates in to four.
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The smart home showdown is on

Inmannews - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 12:34pm
KB Home is rolling out a new smart home model powered by Google technology in response to the Amazon-powered design recently debuted by Lennar.
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Agent sues client for commission on a house he failed to sell

Inmannews - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 11:45am
A Canadian real estate broker sent his former client a bill for thousands of dollars in commission -- even after the sale of the house fell through.
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How MLSs can play fair with Upstream, Zillow’s Bridge

Inmannews - Fri, 09/07/2018 - 11:05am
Here are seven guidelines that hit on the major items an MLS might consider for the protection of the MLS value proposition while adopting one or more alternative input and maintenance (AIM) products.
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