Nationally, median rent costs account for 30 percent of median U.S. household incomes, while median mortgage costs account for about 15 percent of household incomes.
That's according to data reported by real estate website Zillow, which tracks changes in affordability on a quarterly basis. As rents continue to climb, they've become less affordable in many areas. Meanwhile, homeownership became more affordable nationally up until 2013, then home values relative to incomes started to tick back up again.
Trends in housing affordability have played out differently across metro areas, with some of the hottest housing markets experiencing sharp price increases in recent years. Select a metro area to view quarterly trends in housing affordability since 2000. Index values shown represent the share of metro area median household income spent on their median rent or median mortgage payments.