(NEXSTAR) — It has long been understood that big-city living can come with a hefty price tag, especially in California. If you’re planning to move to one of the state’s biggest cities, you’ll need to make sure your paycheck can cover it.
Renters in the nation’s largest cities are paying an average of $1,759 a month, according to Realtor.com’s September Rental Report. That’s down about $20 from July and quite a bit cheaper than the average 1-bedroom in California’s population centers.
Though rates are cooling, rent remains high in some California cities, adding to the pressures already being felt thanks to inflation.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as many financial advisers, recommend following a financial plan in which your rent-to-income ratio is less than 30%. Meaning if you make $100 a month, only about $33 should be spent on your housing costs.
Using that ratio, financial technology company SmartAsset calculated how much renters living in the nation’s 25 largest cities need to earn to afford both one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments on average.
To determine the average annual income necessary to afford the median rent rates of both sizes of apartments, SmartAsset used a rent-to-income ratio of 28%, slightly below the HUD’s recommendation to allow more wiggle room in the example budget. Cities were then ranked based on how much renters would need to earn to afford an average two-bedroom apartment.
Unsurprisingly, SmartAsset found cities in California require renters to earn among the highest income levels to afford apartments. In San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose, where the rent for either one or both of the apartment options reviewed was greater than $3,000 a month, renters would need to earn six-figure incomes to match the 28% ratio.
The four California cities that appeared on SmartAsset’s list all landed in the top 10 most expensive, with average rent for each coming in between $2,300 and $2,900 for those cities.
Here’s how those cities included in SmartAsset’s report ranked:
|Overall Rank||City||Income for 1-bedroom||Income for 2-bedroom|
Other cities landing among the top 10 were New York, Boston, the District of Columbia, Seattle, Denver, and Chicago. Among the more affordable cities, renters in four could afford average apartments with an income of less than $50,000, according to SmartAsset. Those cities are Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Detroit; and El Paso, Texas.
A recent report from Rent.com found rent in a number of California cities has, unsurprisingly, been on the rise since last year.