Zillow determines rental affordability by “…measuring…the share of median household income that residents pay for an area’s median rent.”

In its latest report on rental affordability, Zillow highlighted that the average renter pays 27.7% of her/his income on rent. SmartAsset monetized that percentage as $1,637/month as a national median.

Zillow’s top five affordable rental markets, all inland housing markets, are…

  1. Pittsburg
    1. Median rent payment = $1,099/month
    2. 4% of household income spent on rent
  2. Louis
    1. Median rent payment = $1,152/month
    2. 5% of household income spent on rent
  3. Oklahoma City
    1. Median rent payment = $1,097/month
    2. 4% of household income spent on rent
  4. Raleigh
    1. Median rent payment = $1,451/month
    2. 23% of household income spent on rent
  5. Kansas City
    1. Median rent payment = $1,292/month
    2. 4% of household income spent on rent

Compare Zillow’s most affordable rental markets with rental markets SmartAsset found to have the biggest rent increases from 2014 to 2017:

  1. Detroit
    1. +9.8% rent increase from 2014-2017
    2. 7% of household income spent on rent in 2017
  2. New Orleans
    1. +9.1% rent increase from 2014-2017
    2. 4% of household income or $1,492/month spent on rent in 2017
  3. Long Beach
    1. +7% rent increase from 2014-2017
    2. 8% of household income or $2,110/month spent on rent in 2017
  4. Philadelphia
    1. +6.1% rent increase from 2014-2017
    2. 7% of household income or $1,615/month spent on rent in 2017

CoreLogic’s most recent Single Family Rental Index in December 2018 found that cities with the slowest annual rent increases were….

  • Houston
  • Boston
  • Seattle
  • San Diego
  • Philadelphia/Chicago – note that Philadelphia reflected larger rental increases up until 2017

CoreLogic also found that lower priced rentals increased faster than higher priced rentals for the fifth consecutive year.

Overall, rents increased +3.1% y/y in December 2018. Lower priced rentals increased +3.7% y/y and +3.9% for the full year of 2018. Higher priced rentals increased +2.9% y/y and +2.6% for the full year of 2018.