Rent can make or break a person’s savings plan. The good news: cities like San Francisco are seeing a downward trend in rent prices. The bad news: in cities where rent is becoming more affordable, the price is still relatively high, eating up a big chunk of a resident’s income.
Rent affordability is largely dependent on income. Guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommend that households not spend more than 30% of their monthly gross income on housing-related expenses, including rent and utilities, including rent and utilities, to comfortably afford other necessities like food and healthcare. But fluctuations in rent as a percentage of income can greatly affect individuals’ adherence to that rule and their ability to save.
In this study, we looked at cities in the U.S. where rent is becoming more and less affordable by comparing average market rent to incomes in each place. Specifically, we compared rent prices from 2015 and 2018 to median household incomes over the same period. For details on our data sources and how we put the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.