Hefty Incomes Required to Afford a 2-Bedroom Apartment in Top 15 U.S. Cities

If you’re moving to San Francisco, you’re going to need a good salary for housing. Once there, you’ll find the country’s most expensive rental markets, requiring at least $216,129 annually for a new, two-bedroom apartment.

While rental rates have increased in recent years, wages haven’t kept pace. The median household income in San Francisco is only $78,378.
SmartAsset.com examined how much income households need to pay the rent, examining fair market rents for two-bedroom apartments in the 300 largest U.S. cities. (See charts below.)
To calculate the amount of income needed to pay rent, SmartAsset set rent-to-income ratio at 28 percent. Government housing standards say that housing is affordable if it doesn’t require a household to spend more than 30 percent of its income on housing-related expenses, including utilities and rent. Then SmartAsset then focused on the main cities within the 15 largest metro areas.
Out of the 15 big cities that it analyzed, only three of them saw average rental rates fall between 2015 and 2016. Among the trio with declining rents, none of their fair market rents dropped by more than half of a percentage. Meanwhile, rates are rising fastest in the Southwest. In the past year, market rents have climbed at a faster rate in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Dallas than in any other major cities examined.
SmartAsset: “Renting a two-bedroom place in New York City will cost you $3,692 a month, on average. That price has actually dropped by 0.1% since 2015. Still, that’s hardly good news for most of the city’s cost-burdened renters.”
See the charts below.

Fastest rising rents
How much income needed

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