Joint Center on Housing Studies releases 2018 data

Rachel Zeitler | June 22, 2018

On Wednesday, Harvard’s Joint Center on Housing Studies (JCHS) released its annual report on the State of the Nation’s Housing. Each year, the report gives an update on key trends in housing across the country and in select metropolitan areas.

This year’s study shows nearly a third of all US households paid more than 30% of their income toward housing in 2016. Housing is considered affordable when a family is paying less than 30% of their income toward housing-related costs. Families that spend more are considered cost-burdened and may have trouble affording other basic necessities like food, education and healthcare.

In 46 of the 88 major metro areas that were studied, more than half of the homes for sale were in high price ranges. The largest imbalances in housing choices were found in moderately sized, moderately priced, and fast-growing metros, including Charlotte and Durham.

The national homeownership rate is increasing for the first time in more than a decade.  However, the gap in homeownership rates between black and white households is widening. 72.3% of white households own their homes. In contrast, the homeownership rate for black households is 43.1%, which is 2.7 percentage points lower than the 1987 level.

Overall, in order “to make real progress in addressing housing challenges, there is a clear need to expand assistance for those beyond the market’s reach.”

The full study is available on the Joint Center on Housing Studies’ website: