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Boston Fed Housing Report – Summary 2021

The Boston Fed came out with its latest housing report, the following summarizes report:

Key Facts
Key Facts NEP RB Rural Rental Housing V2 Icon 02 Although rents in rural New England in 2019 were, on average, 29 percent less than rents in the region’s urban areas, rural and urban renters both spent, on average, more than one-third of their household income on housing costs.

Key Facts NEP RB Rural Rental Housing V2 Icon 01 The region’s rural areas had 2,839 total coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents as of January 2021, yet the number of jobs in those places had decreased 6.1 percent compared with one year earlier. Nationally, rural areas had seen 8,204 total cases per 100,000 residents and lost only 3.1 percent of jobs over the same period.
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Although a shortage of affordable rental housing is often framed as an urban-area issue, rural communities also suffer from this problem. On average, rural and urban renters spend similar shares of their income on rent and have comparable rates of housing cost burden. Years of slow income growth and skyrocketing rents, particularly during the 2000–2010 period, have eroded slack in household budgets that may have gone toward other expenses or toward savings. The coronavirus pandemic likely has exacerbated affordability problems by putting many rural residents out of work. The share of jobs lost in rural New England communities has been large, even though these areas have seen far fewer cases of COVID-19 (relative to their population size and overall) compared with the region’s urban areas. This is in contrast with the experience in much of the rest of the country, where, as of January, rural areas nationally had seen far more COVID-19 cases but had lost a smaller share of jobs. Due to the economic conditions in the region’s rural areas, many renters could find it increasingly difficult to afford their housing costs. Even after the pandemic ends and the negative economic impact subsides, rural New England households likely will still face considerable affordability challenges.

Read the full report here

Source: Boston Federal Reserve Report

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