With the economy recovering and strong fundamentals prevailing, housing costs have skyrocketed. Three consecutive years of historically high appreciation rates have removed the entire housing sector from a period of post-recession price weakness. However, in conjunction with home values, rental costs have seen a dramatic increase. With the way rates have jumped, it is not uncommon for housing expenses to take up the majority of people’s monthly income. People who live in densely populated areas know this all too well and understand that high rent prices are just a part of living where they want to be. In particular, rents in San Diego and San Francisco are borderline absurd.
While rents are higher than they have ever been, there are still plenty of opportunities to settle down in an affordable community. That is to say that there are still cheap places to rent that are not simply rural, or undesirable. Thanks to recent data provided by RealtyTrac, we are now made privy to some of the country’s most affordable rental cities. That said, the real estate company looked at rental and income data in the 100 most populated counties in the U.S. to come up with a list of the most affordable cities for renters. The following list identifies the 10 most affordable communities for renters:
America’s 10 Most Affordable Cities For Renters
10. Tazewell County, Illinois: Just southwest of Chicago, Tazewell County receives a lot of residual residents from the Windy City. Technically in the Peoria metropolitan area, Tazewell County renters only spend about 17 percent of their income on monthly rent obligations. And with an unemployment rate around 6.5 percent, workplace fundamentals are slightly above the national average. Renters in this region should expect rents to remain affordable for the foreseeable future.
9. Warren County, Ohio: Situated just northeast of Cincinnati, Warren County is the beneficiary of an affordable renters market. Similar to that of Tazewell, Warren renters can expect to spend about 17 percent of their monthly income on rent. However, with a slightly better unemployment rate (4.5 percent), Warrant renters are in a better position. The lower unemployment rate helps the entire economy.
8. Columbia County, Georgia: Augusta’s neighbor to the northwest, Columbia county remains one of the most affordable rental communities in the country. Renters here can also expect to allocate about 17 percent of their income to monthly rental payments. Unemployment, at 5.3 percent, is not far off the national average.
7. Ascension Parish, Louisiana: Ascension Parish is leading the entire state of Louisiana in rental affordability. Situated just northeast of New Orleans, Ascension Parish requires just 17 percent of a person’s income to pay for rent. That – on top of a 5.2 percent unemployment rate – make this county more affordable than most in the country.
6. Forsyth County, Georgia: Considered part of the Atlanta metro area, Forsyth County is one of Georgia’s many affordable rental communities. Renters only use about 17 percent of their monthly income on rent. Subsequently, the area’s unemployment rate currently sits at 4.7 percent.
5. Howard County, Maryland: Located within the Baltimore city limits, Howard County renters spend about 17 percent of their monthly income on rent. Moreover, the area’s unemployment rate is below the national average.
4. Fort Bend County, Texas: Fort Bend County belongs to one of the country’s hottest housing markets: Houston. Nonetheless, it still has one of the most affordable rental communities. Renters in Fort Bend can expect to spend about 16 percent of their income on rent. Perhaps even more impressively, the area’s unemployment rate is a modest 3.9 percent.
3. Hamilton County, Indiana: Hamilton County is a part of Indianapolis, already one of America’s most affordable cities. That said, renters can expect to spend about 15 percent of their earnings on rent every month.
2. Williamson County, Tennessee Williamson County is a part of the Nashville housing market, and appears to have shared in the rebound success without elevated rental prices. In fact, Williamson County is the second most affordable rental community in the country. Renters can expect to use about 15 percent of their income on rent obligations.
1. Delaware County, Ohio: Coming in at number one on the country’s most affordable rental communities list is Delaware County. As part of the Columbus metro, Delaware County renters use about 14 percent of their income on rent. However, unemployment in the area is at a very low 3.6 percent.