Houston ranks among the worst U.S. cities for single renters By John Egan
Houstonians frowning at their rent bill each month have good reason to grumble.
Surprisingly, Houston appears at No. 9 in a new ranking of the cities with the least affordable studio apartments. Here, median monthly rent is $1,449, gobbling up a little over 28 percent of the average income for a single person ($62,003). That works out to 4.55 percent year-over-year, per the report.
Apartment List says studio apartments tend to be cheaper than one-bedroom apartments by about 5 percent.
“Studio apartments are usually ideal for a single renter in urban areas with high rental price tags. Opting for a cozy studio vs. one-bedroom apartment could save you tons of money,” Apartment List says. “Of course, with those savings come sacrifices of space and privacy.”
Wichita, Kansas, tops the RentHop list of affordable digs for a single person, with median monthly rent of just $500 for a studio apartment. There, a single person with an average income would need to spend just 13.6 percent of their income to live alone.
Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth appears at No. 15 on the list of the least affordable rent for singles. In Fort Worth, the median monthly rent for a studio apartment is $1,264, with singles typically spending 27 percent of their average income ($56,140) to live alone, according to RentHop.
Dallas is not far behind, landing at No. 17 for the least affordable studios. In Big D, median monthly rent for a studio apartment is $1,427, consuming nearly 26.5 percent of the average income of $64,734 for a single person, the report says.
Meanwhile, San Antonio grabs the No. 13 spot among cities with the least affordable rent for singles. In Alamo City, median monthly rent is $1,088, accounting for slightly more than 27.1 percent of the average income for a single person ($48,136).
San Antonio notches a dubious second-place finish among the cities witnessing the biggest year-over-year spike in median monthly rent for a studio apartment in 2021. The increase in San Antonio was nearly 21 percent, just behind Boston.
Austin lands at No. 28 among the cities based on the least affordability. In Austin, a studio apartment commands median rent of $1,452 a month, representing 23.3 percent of the average income of $74,655 for a single person.
For its Singles Index, RentHop combed through about 1.2 million studio listings on RentHop in 2020 and 2021, and paired that with income data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The RentHop Singles Index deviates considerably from a ranking published in January 2021 by Apartment Guide of the U.S. cities with the most affordable studio apartments.
To come up with its ranking, Apartment Guide looked at the average price of a studio apartment in cities with a population of more than 100,000 (a broader group than the RentHop report). Then, Apartment Guide ranked the cities with the highest percentage of studios that are cheaper than the city’s average.
On Apartment Guide’s list, Portland, Oregon, landed at No. 1 for the most affordable studio apartments. The highest-ranking Texas city was Carrollton (No. 5).