The top 15 most affordable U.S. cities for people who want to live alone
There aren’t many big cities where rent is cheap, even for a studio apartment.
But if you’re single and don’t like roommates, online brokerage RentHop found the 15 U.S. cities where rent is most affordable.
Out of 50 of the most populous cities, the following were ranked highest for affordability, as measured by median studio apartment costs as a share of the average income for single dwellers in each city.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, ranks as the most affordable city in the country for single renters. Studio apartments in Albuquerque go for a median price of $700, and the average single person would only need to spend 15.33% of their income to afford one.
Since financial experts recommend aiming to spend 30% or less on housing costs, that’s a pretty good deal.
There are a couple of surprises in the rankings as well. Seattle and Denver have relatively expensive rent prices, with studio apartments costing more than $1,400. But these cities also have high average annual incomes — close to $100,000 — which offset the added costs.
In contrast, New York City is the least affordable place to live if you’re single, as the cost of a studio apartment in the Big Apple as a share of income is almost 44%. Rent for studio apartments in New York has soared 23% in the past year, the study says.
To compile housing price data, RentHop used every studio apartment listed on its site from Jan. 1, 2022 to Nov. 18. While single dwellers might live in larger homes, studio units were chosen because they best represent the minimum space in which one can live alone.
Income numbers represent average non-family household income, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, looking back a year from November 2022. Since these are average rather than median numbers, income might be skewed a bit higher than what most people earn.
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