Where is the least affordable rental market in the US now?


Figure 1. Rent-to-income ratio of the US cities


Urban residential affordability is related to the quality of life of residents, thus leading to urban competitiveness. Generally, the affordability of cities is measured by the rent-to-income ratio, and when it exceeds 30%, Housing and Urban Developments (HUD) defines it as the rental burden. And this rental burden has the effect of pushing the middle class out of the city, which results in the weakening of the local economy. In the case of very high-income earners, even if the rent share reaches 30% out of the total income, the absolute amount of income is high, so they can afford the cost of living, but in the case of the middle class, the quality of life decreases. Therefore, by examining the rent-to-income ratio, it is possible to forecast the city's short-term competitiveness. And from the perspective of the developer or the government, it is an index that can look into which areas needs affordable housing development.


We calculated the rent-to-income ratio by median monthly rent and median household income. The following is a list of the top 20 cities with the highest rent-to-income ratio. There are many cities that have a high rent-to-income ratio in Florida.


Table 1. Top 20 rent-to-income ratio cities


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