Mortgages in Boston Much More Affordable That Rents in 2014


Everyone knows that mortgages and rents have ran in opposing directions, but the numbers are still jaw-dropping.


For some time, we’ve been hearing two independent narratives in housing: one, that mortgage rates and payments were at an all-time low; and two, that rents were rising to an all-time high. New analysis from Zillow, though, has truly driven that concept home – and the numbers are nothing short of eye opening.

Simply put, renting in Boston takes a bigger bite out of people’s incomes than owning – a much bigger bite, in fact. According to Zillow’s analysis, in the third quarter, the median rent in the Boston area ate up 34 percent of the area’s median income. That’s not only 36 percent above the historic average (of 25 percent), but also more than double what Bostonians typically devote to mortgages, which is 22 percent.

That’s perfectly consistent with the national averages, where a 15 percent income share for mortgages contrasts with a 30 percent for rent.

A Sign of the Times: Inequality = Unequal Housing Market

Looking at those numbers – and the considerable divide that they represent – it would be easy to conclude that homeownership is the more affordable housing option, and that we need to encourage more people to rent so that they can buy homes, save money and benefit the economy; suffice to say, the real cause of the rent/mortgage divide is a bit more complex than that, and we should keep in mind a few key tenets going forward:

Firstly, even if mortgage rates are at historic lows, that does not mean that it’s necessarily easy to get a mortgage; indeed, lending standards are tight as ever, and Zillow’s analysis assumed a 20-percent down payment – and we certainly know, based on our recent reporting on income disparities, that not many Americans can afford such a down payment.

Secondly, there’s a distinct reason that rents are rising so rapidly – because of those aforementioned income disparities, fewer and fewer Americans can afford down payments and buy homes; as a result, more consumers have rushed to rent in recent years, and with rental housing stock low (during the boom, most construction had been geared for single-family homes and condos), rents have soared throughout the country. Rental construction has skyrocketed in response to that demand, but given the extended timelines required to complete multifamily units, that’s done little to alleviate rental increases.

Finally, it’s not as though homes themselves are affordable. Although mortgage payments are extremely reasonable, what with rates near all-time lows, home prices have risen considerably in the last couple years, rendering homeownership further inaccessible for middle class. And don’t look to new construction for any relief – as we’ve documented repeatedly, the current batch of new construction properties sublimely reflects today’s income disparity, and new-home prices have risen by astounding amounts since 2010.

So in short, there are quite a few trends at work in housing right now, and they all defy simple explanation.

See our graph below for a fuller picture on mortgage/rent affordability:

Read More Related to This Post


  • Go Here says:

    I simply want to say I’m very new to weblog and seriously loved your web-site. Likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog . You definitely have wonderful stories. Thanks for sharing your web page.

  • Well I sincerely enjoyed studying it. This subject offered by you is very effective for accurate planning.

  • Hello mates, how is everything, and what you want to say concerning this article, in my view its in fact amazing designed for me.|

  • Hello, Neat post. There is an issue along with your web site in web explorer, might test this¡K IE nonetheless is the market chief and a huge portion of other people will pass over your magnificent writing because of this problem.

  • Dress Shirts says:

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  • I’ve been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours nowadays, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely price sufficient for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the web will likely be much more useful than ever before.

  • Hey there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this web site.

  • Legal Forms says:

    I would like to show my love for your kindness giving support to folks who absolutely need assistance with your issue. Your special commitment to passing the solution along ended up being wonderfully practical and has in most cases allowed guys and women much like me to realize their dreams. Your new warm and helpful tutorial implies a lot to me and far more to my office colleagues. Warm regards; from each one of us.

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  • Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • You completed certain nice points there. I did a search on the topic and found mainly people will go along with with your blog.

  • trip planner says:

    It¡¦s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I¡¦m glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • I¡¦ll right away clutch your rss feed as I can’t to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me realize in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  • Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  • I keep listening to the news speak about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i acquire some?

  • I am not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  • Train Travel says:

    I have been examinating out a few of your posts and i can claim clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your website.

  • I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks , I¡¦ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

  • Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  • Keep working ,impressive job!

  • It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  • Hello.This post was extremely interesting, especially since I was browsing for thoughts on this subject last Wednesday.

  • flu symptoms says:

    Thanks , I have just been looking for info about this topic for a while and yours is the best I have discovered so far. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you certain about the source?

  • I precisely needed to thank you so much once more. I’m not certain the things I could possibly have taken care of without the entire strategies revealed by you relating to such a area of interest. It has been a very hard situation in my circumstances, however , discovering this well-written style you resolved that took me to cry over joy. Now i am happier for the help and as well , pray you comprehend what an amazing job that you are putting in educating people today thru your web blog. Most probably you have never encountered any of us.

  • Of course, what a magnificent site and educative posts, I surely will bookmark your site.Best Regards!

  • It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read more things about it!

  • Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your web site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What an ideal website.

  • I would like to express thanks to this writer for bailing me out of such a trouble. Right after researching through the the web and obtaining methods which were not productive, I figured my entire life was done. Being alive devoid of the approaches to the problems you’ve solved through your main guide is a serious case, as well as those that would have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I had not noticed your web page. That skills and kindness in taking care of a lot of things was invaluable. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come upon such a point like this. I’m able to at this point relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for the impressive and amazing help. I won’t think twice to endorse the sites to anybody who needs to have guidance on this matter.

  • This web page is known as a stroll-via for the entire information you wished about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

  • SEO Tools says:

    Great write-up, I¡¦m normal visitor of one¡¦s site, maintain up the nice operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  • Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  • I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  • I’m very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  • Modern Sofa says:

    My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  • Hello.This article was really motivating, especially because I was browsing for thoughts on this matter last week.

  • Thanks for another informative blog. Where else may just I get that kind of info written in such an ideal means? I’ve a challenge that I’m simply now running on, and I have been at the glance out for such info.

  • Thanks for another excellent article. The place else may just anybody get that type of info in such a perfect approach of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such info.

  • Engine Block says:

    that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • A lot of whatever you mention happens to be supprisingly appropriate and it makes me ponder why I had not looked at this in this light before. This article really did turn the light on for me personally as far as this subject goes. However at this time there is actually 1 position I am not really too comfy with so whilst I make an effort to reconcile that with the actual core idea of your point, let me observe what all the rest of your visitors have to say.Very well done.

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • Wow, superb weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you make running a blog look easy. The overall glance of your site is great, let alone the content material!

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • I think other web-site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and fantastic user genial style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • weight loss says:

    that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • Well I definitely liked reading it. This article offered by you is very effective for correct planning.

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • that’s good, thanks for sharing,.. I think this is great blog

  • Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your site in web explorer, may test this¡K IE nonetheless is the market chief and a good portion of other folks will miss your wonderful writing because of this problem.

  • Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  • Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem along with your web site in internet explorer, may check this¡K IE nonetheless is the market leader and a big element of other people will miss your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  • I have been reading out many of your articles and i can claim pretty nice stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your website.

  • Domain Name says:

    I just could not go away your web site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard information a person supply for your guests? Is gonna be back incessantly in order to check up on new posts

  • I¡¦ve recently started a blog, the information you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work.

Join the conversation

Oops! We could not locate your form.