August 22, 2018

Rent: It's Relative

If you're renting and have flexibility with where you can call home, it's important to look deeper than just the rent payment itself.  There are other factors to consider.

For example, in a recently-released report from Zillow citing the most affordable cities for renters, analysts looked at the nation's largest metro areas and took important factors such as income and population into account. These factors play a large role in affordability, as low rent in a city with lower median incomes doesn't necessarily make the home affordable.

Look at the most affordable and least affordable markets across the country, paying close attention to the share of household income spent on rent. As a point of reference, experts generally suggest that your total cost for housing should be less than 30% of your take-home income.

Most Affordable Markets for Renters

City, State Share of Household Income Spent on Rent Median Monthly Payment
City, State: Pittsburgh, PA Share of Household Income Spent on Rent:21.9% Median Monthly Payment: $1,083
City, State: St. Louis, MO Share of Household Income Spent on Rent: 22.2% Median Monthly Payment: $1,150
City, State: Oklahoma City, OK Share of Household Income Spent on Rent: 22.8% Median Monthly Payment: $1,100
City, State: Raleigh, NC Share of Household Income Spent on Rent: 22.9% Median Monthly Payment: $1,441
City, State: Birmingham, AL Share of Household Income Spent on Rent: 23.1% Median Monthly Payment:$1,054

Least Affordable Markets for Renters

City, State Share of Household Income Spent on Rent Median Monthly Payment
City, State: Los Angeles, CA Share of Household Income Spent on Rent: 47.6% Median Monthly Payment: $2,759
City, State: Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL Share of Household Income Spent on Rent: 42.0% Median Monthly Payment: $1,867
City, State: San Diego, CA Share of Household Income Spent on Rent: 40.8% Median Monthly Payment: $2,549
City, State: San Francisco, CA Share of Household Income Spent on Rent: 39.7% Median Monthly Payment: $3,425
City, State: New York, NY Share of Household Income Spent on Rent: 38.3% Median Monthly Payment: $2,401

Before you start hunting for your perfect city to call home, be sure to consider factors such as job opportunities, the local economy and housing supply before making a decision based on rent payment alone.

For more information on buying and renting, visit Freddie Mac's My Home®.

  • Feedback

    Have a comment or question about this post? Email us to let us know what's on your mind.

    Maximum of 250 characters.