The Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS® retained Anderson Economic Group to conduct a study of housing affordability in Akron.
To frame housing affordability trends in Akron, we identified trends in housing affordability across the United States and found that housing affordability nationwide has improved since the Great Recession, but a large proportion of low-income and renter-occupied households remain housing cost burdened (e.g., they spend more than 30% of their income on housing). At the national level, housing affordability has been negatively impacted by insufficient housing supply, slow income growth, rising construction costs, and restrictive housing regulation. In Akron, residents have not seen the same rapid rise in rents and home sales prices that have characterized housing markets elsewhere in the U.S. However, the proportion of households considered housing cost-burdened was higher than the national average.
Further, we conducted a census tract level affordability analysis to provide more detailed insight into how housing affordability varies across Akron. We analyzed the data to construct housing affordability indices for owner- and renter-occupied Akron households. Using these indices, we estimated the proportion of Akron households that could afford monthly housing costs in each Akron census tract. The results showed that owner-occupied housing affordability patterns in Akron changed very little between 2013 and 2019. However, many Akron census tracts became notably less affordable to renters. The number of tracts where less than half of the city’s renter-occupied households could afford rental housing more than doubled, with many of the largest decreases in affordability occurring in tracts near the city center.
We summarized our findings in a report that was provided to the client in September, 2020. The report will be used to inform the Akron City Council and the public at large about the changes in housing costs faced by Akron residents.