More than 40% of Bay Area residents have housing cost burdens, according to new research from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The research examined housing costs as a proportion of income in 381 metro areas across the country and found that the Bay Area was in the top 10% of areas with the largest cost burdens. Cost burdens are defined as occurring when a household spends more than the recommended 30 percent of income on housing. 21.1% of Bay Area residents have what are defined as extreme cost burdens, spending more than half of their income on housing.
Homeowners in the Bay Area have it much better than renters, with only 28.3% spending more than 30% of their income on housing and only 13.4% spending more than half of their income. More than half of renters, however, bear housing cost burdens around the Bay Area. For much of California the situation is the same for renters, with more than half experiencing cost burdens. Los Angeles has the largest percentage of residents bearing cost burdens of any of the markets studied across the country.