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The Rich Are Driving Up the Rent

Renting in the U.S. is getting more affordable—because the renters are getting wealthier. Where do you fit in?
A housing development in San Jose.
Photographer: David Paul Morris

Following the Great Recession, the cost of rental housing took a growing bite out of U.S. household budgets, as increasing demand for rental units pushed up prices. Now the share of households considered burdened by high rents is falling, according to a report from New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy.

That’s good news. But the dynamics driving improved affordability are a mixed bag.