SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s residential housing market is among the hottest in the nation, but for some, particularly renters, the increasing cost of apartment living is weighing heavily on their household bottom lines.

Wasatch Front resident Garrett Cooper, 34, is among the growing number of Utahns coping with the economic realities of paying rising rental rates while trying to balance other personal financial obligations. Following a divorce, he now shares custody of his son while renting an apartment in Millcreek.

“It’s very tough,” Cooper said. “It’s difficult. I find every year that I have to make cuts and sacrifices on different things as the rent goes up year to year.”

He pays approximately 35 percent of his gross monthly income for rent, but more than 50 percent of his net monthly household income, he noted. Dedicating such a large portion of his wages to rent has been challenging, he said, and the cost has gone up significantly over the past several years.

Sometimes his household budget cuts involve discontinuing a movie streaming service, while other “belt-tightening” choices force him to look for the “best bargain” when shopping for necessities, he said.

“It can be a real struggle,” he said. “I get paid biweekly, so there are times when I’ll get paid almost a full two weeks before the rent is due and won’t get paid again until after the rent is due.”

He said those times are particularly tough.

“(I’ll be) at the point where I have to decide which bills to skip or which groceries to skip,” Cooper explained. A number of his friends and family members have found themselves in similar circumstances, he said, due in large part to rising rental rates.

According to the 2018 Cost Burden Report, nearly half — 49.5 percent — of all renter households nationwide are “cost-burdened.” The report …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

      

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