by Dan Rafter
The apartment market remains a hot one across the country and the Midwest. Apartment living is becoming so popular, rents are rising to new heights.
That’s why it’s not too surprising that RealtyTrac has found that in majority of the counties that it has studied it is more affordable to buy a home today than it is to rent an apartment.
According to RealtyTrac’s latest rental affordability study, it is now more affordable to buy than rent in 58 percent of the 504 U.S. counties that the online real estate firm has studied.
RealtyTrac predicts that rents will only continue to rise in the coming year. The company says that rents on three-bedroom apartments have risen 3.5 percent as 2016 starts when compared to the start of 2015. Rents have risen faster than wages, too, according to the company. RealtyTrac said average weekly wages have risen just 2.6 percent in from the second quarter of 2015 to the end of the year.
This means that across all 504 counties, the average monthly apartment rent consumed 37 percent of tenants’ average wages.
Of course, rents are more affordable in some counties. RealtyTrac said that the five most affordable counties for renters were Huntsville, Alabama; Peoria, Illinois; Davenport, Iowa; Atlanta; and Pittsburgh. The average monthly rent requires 25 percent or less of the average wages of tenants in all five of these counties.
The top-five least affordable counties in which to rent are Honolulu; Washington, D.C.; New York City; the Northern California metropolitan areas of Salinas and Santa Cruz; and San Francisco. The average monthly rent in these counties requires more than 60 percent of the average wages of tenants.