The Rent Is So Damn High It’s Keeping Tenants Up At Night: Survey

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40 percent of renters report losing sleep when trying to find a place to rent after a break-neck spike in rent prices. Three-quarters said they made concessions to afford rent.

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After spiking to record highs nationwide, two-in-every-five renters reported losing sleep over their recent searches.

That’s according to a new report from Zillow, finding the lack of affordable housing options the No. 1 reason for stress when looking for a house or apartment to rent.

The angst follows a 24 percent jump over the past two years, a rate that is several times faster than typical. Median rent pushed past $2,000 a month in July, and 77 percent of renters said they made compromises to land a place to live, according to the report.

“Rising rents are only adding to the pressure renters feel during what is already an emotional and challenging process,” Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton said in a statement. “Renters are often staring down a deadline to leave their current rental, and with competition so intense, they need to make decisions quickly.”

The typical renter now must spend more than half of their monthly income on rent each month, Zillow said. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers those renters to be “severely rent burdened.” (Renters and homeowners are considered “rent burdened” if they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.)

According to the survey, 30 percent of renters said they ended up renting a home that was smaller than they’d planned. The most common compromises made include settling for a rental without all of their desired features.

Zillow has stepped up its focus on rentals in recent years as both the pool of people remaining in the rental market has grown and as competition for users’ attention has increased.

The company provided a list of recommendations for renters in the market today, like a rent-affordability calculator, move-in date filter and a tool that lets users search median rent by zip code.

Zillow reported 26 percent of renters said they had issues keeping track of communication with property managers and landlords, and it pointed to recent updates to its Renter Hub to make communicating and application tracking easier.

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