A new study finds that U.S. rents are far higher than in 10 other countries in Europe and Canada, which is largely due to greater income inequality.
The analysis indicates that the greater cost burdens found among renters in the US, relative to most of the other countries, are largely due to greater income inequality, to more limited housing assistance programs, and perhaps to a housing supply consisting of units that are larger and better-equipped but that are consequently more expensive.
The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies compares the U.S. rental housing market to 11 rental housing markets in developed countries, including Canada, Germany and Switzerland. The median ratio of housing cost to household income was higher in the U.S. than in 10 out of the 11 countries studied, and the U.S. had the highest share of severely cost-burdened renters.
Michael Carliner and Ellen Marya, Rental Housing: An International Comparison. In: The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, September 2016.