Many rent affordability measures compare median household income to median rent. Because household income includes both home owners and renters, median household income is almost always higher than median renter household income.
For the comparison shown in the table embedded below I chose instead to compare median renter household income compared to median rent. (In both cases I used 1 year ACS data; 2018 data at the county level is limited to the counties shown, other place data may be available but I chose to include only the City of Portland). I also did not make any inflation adjustments to the 2014 data.
Even using this more conservative renter median income metric the Oregon growth in median renter household income from 2014 to 2018 was generally higher than the growth in median rent.This would reduce rent burdens for median renter households renting a unit at median rent.
For the entire state median renter income increased by 30% while median rents grew by 15%. This reduced the share of median renter income required to pay the median rent from 36% to 32%.
For the City of Portland median renter income increased by 47%, while median rents grew by 38%. This reduced the share of median renter income required to pay the median rent from 38% to 31%.
Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.