Time Is Money, Which Goes Toward Rent

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February 14, 2017

Housing affordability is usually framed as the percentage of one’s income that goes toward rent. But what about the time spent to earn that income?

SmartAsset found that the average worker in Los Angeles works 87.7 hours a month just to pay for rent, the highest share of the nation’s 15 largest cities. Los Angelenos earn $13.78 per hour on average with an average rent of $1,200. Residents of San Jose, New York City, San Diego, and San Francisco also need to work for more than 70 hours a month to afford rent alone.

On the other end, people in Austin, Phoenix, Columbus, and Indianapolis have the least number of work hours going to rent.

Workers in Columbus get paid a similar amount to workers in New York, just 27 cents less per hour on average. But median rent in Columbus is a whopping $400 less than it is in New York. That means a difference of $4,800 per annum (and a possible headstart on saving for a down payment).

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