Rent rose at the fastest monthly pace since 2007 last month, a reminder that one of the biggest expenses for most Americans isn’t easing up.
In May, rent was 3.8% higher than a year ago, the strongest 12-month rate of increase since 2008, the Labor Department said in its consumer price index report Thursday. The monthly rise was 0.4%.
It’s not only the strongest pace of growth in many years, it’s also much higher than pay increases. Inflation-adjusted hourly wages were up 1.4% in the twelve months ending in May.
Many factors are keeping the pressure on rents. The housing market is suffering from a lack of inventory. Home builders pulled back when the bubble burst, and many homeowners are reluctant to try to sell. More people of all ages and income levels are going to rent their home rather than buy, analysts believe.