Houston ranks second in residents behind on rent in U.S. according to survey

Nationally, 15% of renters are behind on rent, according to the survey.


Houston ranked second in metro areas in the number of people behind on paying rent, according to a new report.

According to, about 21% of Houston-area residents are behind on rent, which is a drop from 2021 and 2020; both years indicated 23% of residents were behind. The commercial real estate listing site said the data was provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Nationally, 15% of renters are behind on rent, according to the survey.

Nathan Barber, an analyst for the commercial real estate listing site, said Houston’s average is higher than both the country and state, which are both at 15%.

“What we’re starting to see with inflation is it’s really starting to hit people’s wallets hard,” Barber said. “That’s increasing the cost of everything from gas to food and grocery, and most people are starting to feel that and rent.”

Rent prices have increased 20% nationally, Barber said, which is making it difficult for some people to keep up with rent, and likely to face eviction.

“If inflation persists, we’re likely to see a growing percent of people who can’t keep up on rent,” he said.

Barber said it is tough for the government to step in, but some cities have implemented rent control ordinances for low income residents.

“Right now it doesn’t seem that rent is going to go down in the near future,” he said. “Especially with inflation now, it’s costing more, so it gives landlords justifications to increase rent.”

Barber said there are local government agencies to help with advice on rent or provide resources. But ultimately he said lower rent is highly unlikely.

The number one city in the survey was Miami, with 25%. Philadelphia was at number three, and New York and Chicago tied at four and five, respectively at 18%.

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