How much money does it take to afford to live in Austin? More than almost anywhere else in Texas, according to a new report on rental affordability.
Apartment List analyzed the 100 largest U.S. cities to find the minimum gross income needed to afford a local apartment. When compared to the actual median household income, renters in 24 of the cities studied are burdened by the cost of living in a two-bedroom apartment. That's not the case in Austin, which lands on the affordable end of the spectrum, but still comes in as the second most expensive spot in the state.
In Austin, the median rent price for a two-bedroom apartment clocks in at $1,426. That means a local renter here needs a gross annual income of $57,040 to afford rent without being cost-burdened, which is defined as spending more than 30 percent of gross income on rent. Apartment List breaks that down to an hourly wage of $27.
Meanwhile, the estimated median household income in Austin for 2018 was $65,756, giving renters a little cushion.
More Americans are renting, in part because of rising housing costs, and many of them are burdened by the cost. "Nearly half of renting households are cost-burdened," the report says. "The demographics of renting are changing as well. As homeownership becomes more and more unattainable for millennials, many forego purchasing a home and opt to rent further into adulthood."
Across the Lone Star State, those earning the median local income are out of the woods when it comes to being cost-burdened by rent.
Nearby San Antonio and Houston are in line with median rents of $1,062 and $1,026, respectively, and a required median income of $42,520 in San Antonio and $41,080 Houston. Dallas is slightly pricier, with a median rent of $1,111 and required median income of $44,480. Fort Worth actually edges out Big D with $1,147 median rent and $45,920 income required.
The only Texas city more expensive than Austin is Plano, which has a median rent of $1,435 and a required median income of $57,440. But that's not a stretch for local residents, as the actual median income is $91,412.
That pales in comparison to the most expensive U.S. city on the list: Fremont, California, where the median rent price is $3,731 a month and Apartment List recommends renters earn at least $150,040 annually, or a whopping $72 an hour.