RISMEDIA, June 28, 2007–With peak rental season in full swing, a recent Apartments.com survey provides insight into renters’ current budget for monthly rent payments. According to the survey, more than sixty percent of respondents state that they spend more than the recommended percentage on rent with twenty percent of survey respondents spending more than half of their annual salary on rent. Industry experts suggest approximately one third of an individual’s annual income should be spent on housing. Ninety-five percent of survey respondents indicate that rent is their largest monthly bill.
Renters indicate that some cost savings are actualized by the inclusion of many utilities in rent payments including water (60%), garbage pick up (52%), gas (22%), electric (14%), cable (10%) and phone (5%).
Although sixty-three percent of survey respondents state that they do not rent for financial reasons, creating and maintaining a budget is essential to a renter’s economic health. Apartment Living, a renter’s resource guide located on Apartments.com, provides the following advice for budgeting:
— Keep a money journal. For one full week, accurately keep track of all spending.
— Compare current spending to income. Other than rent, additional debts should not exceed these percentages: ten percent of income on utilities, eight percent for student loans, between ten and twenty percent for credit card bills and other personal loans, fifteen percent for transportation costs, eighteen percent for food and five percent on recreation and entertainment.
— Adjust spending accordingly to ensure savings of approximately ten percent of annual income.
Renters that participated in the Apartments.com survey indicate their average rent payment is $905.00 per month, compared to the current national average of $1082 per month (PadZing*, Realty Data Trust, June 1, 2007). Average rent prices in 2007 show a steady incline since 2005 when the median rental payment was $636 per month.
Renters can find additional information on the costs of renting and more information on creating a budget in the “Money” section of Apartment Living on Apartments.com (http://living.Apartments.com).
As part of its monthly “What Renters Want” research series, Apartments.com surveys renters on various topics. The June “What Renters Want” survey was conducted between May 21, 2007 and June 18, 2007.
* PadZing.com is an aggregated apartment market trends Web site for the U.S. market that reports average rent, vacancy, availability, rent per square foot and more by unit type.
For more information, visit www.Apartments.com.