18 Million Homeowners Across US Are ‘House Poor’ [New LendingTree Report]

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 19 June 2024 01:55

While some homeowners can comfortably manage their housing costs, others aren’t so lucky and are housing cost-burdened, or “house poor.”

What house poor looks like will vary by homeowner. But, generally speaking, those who spend more than 30% of their monthly income on housing costs (including their mortgage and other expenses like insurance and utilities) are housing cost-burdened. We analyzed the latest housing data to determine the share of owner-occupied households in each state that are housing cost-burdened — here's what we found. 

  • 21.93%, or 18,381,169, of owner-occupied households in the U.S. are house poor. Of those, 44.20% are severely housing cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 50% of their monthly incomes on housing costs.
  • California, Hawaii and New York have the largest share of house-poor homeowners. In these three states, 29.92%, 28.70% and 27.12% of owner-occupied households, respectively, are housing cost-burdened.
  • Digging deeper, over 1.6 million owner-occupied households across California, Hawaii and New York are severely housing cost-burdened. All together, 47.12% of house-poor homeowners across these states are severely housing cost-burdened.
  • Homeowners are least likely to be house poor in West Virginia, Indiana and Arkansas. Respectively, 13.54%, 16.38% and 16.53% of owner-occupied households in these three states are housing cost-burdened.

You can check out our full report here: https://www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/house-poor-study/

LendingTree's Senior Economist and report author, Jacob Channel, had this to say:


"Though aiming to spend no more than 30% of their income on housing costs can help people better stay on top of their finances, that doesn’t mean that there’s no wiggle room when it comes to budgeting for housing. On the contrary, there are certainly instances where a person can spend more than 30% of their income on housing and live a very comfortable lifestyle. Nonetheless, people should do their best to keep housing costs in check. Otherwise, they may not have enough money to spend on other important expenses, like groceries or car and credit card payments."



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LendingTree is an online lending marketplace headquartered in the United States. The business platform allows potential borrowers to connect with multiple loan operators to find optimal terms for loans, credit cards, deposit accounts, insurance, etc.

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