The U.S. Census recommends Americans spend no more than 30% of their income on housing costs per month. Still, an estimated 19 million U.S. households spend over 50% of their income on housing.

As the United States continues to recover from the housing crisis and recession, housing costs, including home prices and rent, are rising faster than incomes. While the recovering housing market is a boon for the economy, it is simultaneously saddling millions of Americans with additional financial burden.

32. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
> Households able to afford monthly payments: 48.0%
> Median single-family house price: $352,100
> 2015 median household income: $70,283
> 5 yr. pop. change: 9.7%

The population of the Denver metro area rose 9.7% from 2011 to 2016, one of the largest increases of any city. The influx of new residents has likely contributed to the rising cost of real estate in the area. The typical mortgage payment became 50% more expensive in the past five years, compared to a 28% increase nationwide. The typical Denver household now pays 37.9% of its income on housing, one of the largest shares in the United States.

Even at a higher affordability threshold, many American households simply cannot make the cut, particularly those in some major metropolitan areas. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of households spending more than 36% of their income on housing based on data from “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2017,” a report compiled by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. In 39 major U.S. metropolitan areas the majority of households are spending beyond their means on housing.

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