(NEXSTAR) – It has long been understood that big-city living can come with a hefty price tag. If you’re planning to move to a big Texas city near you, 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 when the median rate peaked.
Though rates are cooling, rent remains high in some Texas 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.
Though California dominated the top end, Texas had more cities appearing on SmartAsset’s list overall than any other state.
The most expensive Texas city was Austin, which ranked 11th on the report. To afford a one-bedroom apartment with an average rent of $1,575, SmartAsset found you would need an annual income of $67,486. For a two-bedroom, renters need an income of $84,114 to afford the average rent of $1,963.
Here’s how the Texas cities included in SmartAsset’s report ranked:
|Overall Rank||City||Income for 1-bedroom||Income for 2-bedroom|
These rankings also align with data from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, which offers insights into how much you need to make to afford to live in your city, county or state based on typical expenses like food, housing, taxes, and more.
Based on the findings from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a single adult living in these six cities needs to earn an hourly wage between about $14 and $18. Austin is on the higher end, with a necessary hourly rate of $17.46, while El Paso is the cheapest at $14.03.
There is hope for renters across the U.S. though. According to Realtor.com, the average rents for one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and studio apartments are starting to cool down.