The average renter in 11 major U.S. markets needs to earn a six-figure annual salary in order to avoid being considered as rent burdened.
Consumers are considered rent-burdened if they spend 30% or more of their incomes on rent. To avoid being rent-burdened, the average U.S. renter needs to make nearly $81,000 a year.
According to research from Florida Atlantic University (FAU), as of the end of April renters in San Jose needed to generate the largest salary ($131,563) to avoid being labeled as rent burdened. The average renter also needed to make at least $100,000 a year to escape the rent burdened identity in New York City; Miami; San Francisco; San Diego; Oxnard, Calif; Boston; Los Angeles; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Honolulu; and Riverside, California.
“Not a lot of people make that kind of money,” said Dr. Ken H. Johnson, an economist in FAU’s College of Business. “This data illustrates perfectly what we’ve been saying about an ongoing housing affordability crisis. Rents aren’t coming down significantly, if at all, so until incomes increase sharply, consumers in much of the country will continue to do without basic needs.”
At the other end of the spectrum, the least rent-burdened market is Wichita, Kansas, where the average renter needs to make just less than $40,000.