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Sacramento renters spending more than 30% of their paycheck on rent

New report shows people are spending half their income on rent
New report shows people are spending half their income on rent 02:24

SACRAMENTO - California's housing crisis is hitting renters hard as a new report shows many people are spending half of their income on rent. 

A good rule of thumb is to spend 30% or less of your monthly income on rent. But, nowadays, for many people, that number is much higher.

"My rent is extraordinarily high for what I live in," says Christina Gibson Martucci.

Martucci is a renter in Midtown after moving back to Sacramento last year. She spent the last seven years living on the East Coast and says after shopping around for a place to live in Sacramento, she noticed a dramatic increase in the cost of living.

"I'm definitely paying more than 30% now," she said. "It's unaffordable."

"It's much more difficult than it used to be where you have a job at a grocery store and that makes everything work," said Ryan Lundquist, an appraiser and housing analyst. "That's just not the environment we have right now."

Lundquist said not enough homes are being built.

"We need both apartments and single-family homes to be built to help alleviate pressure on rent, and pressure on home prices," Lundquist said.

The good news is that more homes were built last year than the year before. The Sacramento region saw an increase of 1,600 homes built from 2022 to 2023. But the bad news is, it's still not enough.

"So it's nice to see a glowing year of new construction but we're not building anywhere close to the number of units that we could have to make a difference," Lundquist said.

Lundquist blames high construction costs, difficult land permits and a labor shortage for the lagging numbers. For example, back in 2002, Sacramento was seeing 9,500 homes being built a year.

"It's tough, I think, to build fast in California," adds Lundquist. "Homes have been scarce so landlords are able to command more asking price for tenants."

"I would like to buy a home eventually. But, that doesn't account for the ridiculous prices of the market," Martucci said.

Lundquist made a point to say that the housing market is a cycle and what goes up must come down.

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