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Americans skipping meals to meet rising cost of housing: Poll

A "for rent" sign posted in July 2023 at a resort vacancy in Miami, Florida, USA. (Photo by Getty Images)

Americans have been skipping meals to meet the rising cost of housing, a recent poll shows.

The poll commissioned by Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin and released on Friday found US homeowners and renters struggling to meet their housing payments. It showed 50 percent of Americans were having a hard time making their payments.

A large portion of the interviewees taking part in the poll said they had to suffer hardships to cope with the US housing crisis.

Twenty-two percent of the poll respondents said they had skipped meals, 21 percent said they sold some of their belongings, and a combined 37 percent claimed they were forced to either work extra hours or start a new job.

Thirty-five percent also said they were taking fewer vacations or none at all, to make ends meet and keep up with the rising cost of living.

The poll found about 18 percent of Americans borrowed money from friends and family or tapped into their retirement savings.

Sixteen percent of the respondents said they were so broke they were forced to either postpone or give up necessary medical treatments.

The US cash crunch prompted many young Americans to give up their independent apartments and move back in with their parents.

Redfin analysts reported average Americans in the United States cannot afford housing costs in the country.

A typical US household’s income is around $30,000 annually, which is lower than the level needed to afford a median-priced home these days, it said.

“Housing has become so financially burdensome in America that some families can no longer afford other essentials, including food and medical care, and have been forced to make major sacrifices, work overtime and ask others for money so they can cover their monthly costs,” Redfin’s economic research chief, Chen Zhao, reported.

Meanwhile, the inflation rate in the United States had risen to its highest level in more than 40 years in June 2022, prompting the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates in an attempt to tame prices.

However, despite the increase in interest rates, price growth continued to rise to 3.2 percent from a year earlier in February, higher than economists forecast.

The rising cost of living in the US has canceled expectations of interest rates going down anytime soon in the United States, dimming hopes of a solution to the US economic crisis, including housing costs, in the near future.

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