California ranks third worst for renters – Orange County Register

“Survey Says” looks at various rankings and scorecards that assess geographic locations and finds that these grades are best viewed as a mix of artistic interpretation and data.

To hum: Only two states are worse deals for renters than California.

Source: My trusty spreadsheet compared Census Bureau housing data, comparing 2021 to 2016 for 50 states plus the District of Columbia. To create a value metric for renting, states were ranked using five-year change in cost of rent, proportion of financially burdened tenants in 2021, change in burden 2016–21, change in rental households 2016–21, and residents per rental unit 2021 rated. Rankings were derived from a state’s average grade.

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My scorecard ranked California as the third worst for renters, ahead of only Nevada and Arizona. After California came Georgia and Florida.

The best states were North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Montana and Ohio.


Those five years of housing history included a pandemic urge to find larger homes and mortgage rates at historic lows, boosting home ownership nationwide by 11% versus a 1% growth in rental households.

Unfortunately, homeless people have been hit with rising rental costs and significant strains on family finances.

But let’s start with the basics. California had the most rental households at 5.73 million, or 13.6% of the country’s 42 million. These renters represent 44% of households in the state, the third largest share of renters behind. DC at 58% and New York at 45%. California was followed by Nevada with 41% and Hawaii and Texas with 37%.

But consider a measure of popularity (or not), the five-year change in the number of tenants. California ranks third worst for renters – Orange County Register

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