Monday, October 22, 2012

Homeowners and Renters: 25 Years of Spending

How has the spending of homeowners and renters changed over the past 25 years? A comparison of 2010 and 1986 Consumer Expenditure Survey data shows that, on the surface at least, the spending of homeowners and renters is remarkably unchanged.

In 2010, households headed by homeowners spent an average of $55,780, slightly less than the $56,050 spent by homeowners in 1986, after adjusting for inflation. The spending of households headed by renters was also about the same in both years--$33,460 in 2010, down slightly from $33,520 in 1986.

Changes in spending emerge in the details, however. Both homeowners and renters spent much more on  health insurance and much less on transportation in 2010 versus 1986. Both spent more on housing and less on food away from home. The only major category in which homeowners and renters have diverged in their spending is entertainment. Homeowners spent 11 percent more on entertainment in 2010 than in 1986, after adjusting for inflation. Renters spent 6 percent less.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, A Comparison of 25 Years of Consumer Expenditures by Homeowners and Renters

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