Big Cities Where Rent Is Becoming Less Of A Burden

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November 17, 2016

There are many reason why Detroit’s plummeting population is a bad thing. There is at least one upside, though: The demand for housing is low.

SmartAsset ranked the metros where incomes are rising faster than rents, and the Motor City led the list. Rents have increased only 3 percent since 2012, leading to a 5.1 percent drop in the rent-to-income ratio. Detroit residents pay a median annual rent of 8,964, which is 38.5 percent of their income (a figure that’s still above the 30 percent threshold of being considered rent-burdened).

Several cities in the Midwest (Cleveland, Milwaukee) and South (Jacksonville, Memphis) made the top 10. San Francisco did too, due to rising incomes. Other than San Francisco, El Paso, Texas, was the least rent-burdened.

El Paso saw rents increase by only 2.59% over the 2012-2015 time period, the second-lowest in our study. Unlike other cities with relatively low increases in rent costs, El Paso has not been struggling in the recent past. Renters there paid 30.6% of their income on rent in 2012 and 27.4% of their income on rent in 2015, which is second only to San Francisco for least rent-burdened.

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