The 20 most expensive US cities for renters and how much money you need to make to afford to live there
- Researchers at Apartment Guide published a list of the US cities with the most expensive rents.
- Assuming renters pay under 30% of their income for housing, the list also includes the salaries needed to afford those rents.
That's according to a recent study by Apartment Guide, a rental search website. The researchers, who used Apartment Guide's data as well as US Census Bureau population estimates, found that you'd need to earn at least twice as much as most Americans if you want to rent an average-priced apartment in the most expensive U.S. cities. That's based on the commonly referenced "30% rule," or the maximum percentage of one's income they should spend on housing.
Until July, rents were skyrocketing — in July, the median apartment rent in the US climbed to 39% from 2021, about $1,770 for a one-bedroom unit, according to rent.com. For Americans earning the national median income of $67,521 a year, that works out to more than 30% of their pre-tax pay, Insider's Alcynna Lloyd reported. And that's as inflation woes continue to increase other cost of living pressures for Americans.
New York City and Boston top Apartment Guide's list of the most expensive markets for renters, with New York being the only one to clear the $200,000 mark for salary needed with the 30% rule — the average person needs to make $254,040 to afford a $6,351 monthly rent, the researchers said. New York was also the only city to clear the $5,000 mark for a month's rent, though the analysis was an average of all units, including ones with multiple bedrooms. The city saw a nearly 21% increase in average rents from the year before, an increase of more than $1,000 per month.
The west coast dominated the rest of the top 10, with Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco all requiring $150,000-plus salaries from renters hoping to stay below the 30% benchmark.
Out of the 10 most expensive cities, eight require twice the annual median income to keep rent costs at 30%, the researchers found.
Below is a list of the top 20 most expensive cities in the US:
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