Mortgages not the only thing hurting homeowners' wallets

Move over, mortgage payment. You're being nudged out of the headlines.

A new report from the Center for Housing Policy reports that almost every major expense associated with home ownership has shot up in the last ten years. (the study looks at the years between 1996 and 2006). The report, "Stretched Thin: The Impact of Rising Housing Expenses on America's Owners and Renters" lays out some sobering realities. But at least you know it's not just your imagination. (make sure to read the comments of this MarketWatch piece. Very interesting).

Not only has the average mortgage payment increased by 46% in those ten years, but property taxes increased 66%. Utilities shot up 43%. Property insurance spiked 83%!

Homeowner Incomes? Those went up by about 36% in those ten years, according to the survey (wonder if they collected that information from mortgage applications. "Liar Loans" were rife in the latter part of that decade).

Renters aren't excluded from this pain, either, as landlords tend to pass their increased costs onto their tenants. According to the report, rents rose by about 51% over the period examined, while renter incomes only rose 31%.

Apart from adding more gloomy news for your weekend, the report does make some recommendations. New housing needs to be far more energy efficient, and built closer to urban centers and public transportation.

For more details, see the entire report here.




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