June 23, 2017
Four U.S. cities made the list of the world’s top 30 Best Cities for Renters compiled by Yardi’s RENTCafé by looking at rental prices compared to median incomes. Chicago was ranked 20th, followed by San Francisco at No. 23, Los Angeles No. 27 and Manhattan (NYC) at No. 29. The top “cities of opportunity” were Kuala Lumpur (1), Moscow (2) and Johannesburg (3).
It is one thing to be a vibrant urban hub with thriving or emerging economies, yet be highly unaffordable for renters, a category New York falls into. L.A., San Francisco, and Chicago are faring slightly better, though are still in the “unaffordable” category.
Key highlights of RENTCafé research:
- Manhattan is the priciest place to rent in the world and the second-least affordable. Manhattanites shell out an astounding 59% of their income on rent.
- Chicago and Los Angeles are both moderately rent burdened, but L.A. takes the lead in the unaffordability race. The 47% rent burden places Los Angeles fourth among the cities with the worst rent-to-income ratio,whereas housing eats up “only” 38% of Chicagoans’ median income.
- San Francisco’s median income of roughly $92,100 is one of the highest in the world’s cities of opportunity, second only to Singapore. Think that’s enough to avoid affordability problems? Not really. San Franciscans pay roughly $37,800 on rent per year, pushing the rent-to-income ratio to 41%.
- At the other end of the spectrum, Kuala Lumpur emerges as the best choice for renters in search of more relaxed lifestyles. Rent barely takes 20% of the median household income in Malaysia’s capital city.
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