As the economy contracted earlier this month, we’re reminded that the effects of the Great Recession are still being felt. Home ownership is down, incomes are down, and more and more people are renting. We decided to help out our fellow Americans by putting together a list of the most affordable housing in Columbus to rent and nationwide.
Using HUD Fair Market Rents, Gross Family Income, Data from the American Housing Survey and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, we look at where rents will take the least chunk out of your salary. Our listing methodology is based on the % of Gross Income a 1 Bedroom apartment will take out of your total salary. The lower, the better. We defined a Metro as an area with at least 100,000 households and 33% of the population renting.
Surprisingly, some of the metros that met our criteria were on either coast of the USA. Also surprising is the average median income for the area, and the purchasing power those dollars provided. It makes sense to live in cheaper areas in more ways then one. Ohio is by the most affordable state, with nearly all of its metro areas making our list.
Without further ado, here are the results:
1. Lincoln, Nebraska.
Nebraska’s Capital has the 2nd largest capitol building. What’s more attractive is its 2% unemployment rate, a strong rental economy (over 40% rent in Lincoln), and only 30% of gross income will afford you a nice 1 bedroom apartment.
2. Cincinnati, Ohio
The Third largest city in Ohio and the Home of the Reds, with about 5.7% unemployment. 33% of a gross family income is all you need for a 1 bedroom.
3. Toledo, Ohio
Yet another major metro area in Ohio. The only worrisome aspect for us was the higher unemployment in Toledo then the rest of the state. Gross income % required: 33%.
4. Springfield, Missouri
The third largest city in Missouri includes 5 counties, and is the deathplace of John Gotti. Unemployment runs 5.1%, and you’ll need 33% of your gross income to rent a 1 BR.
5. Lexington, Kentucky
With a very healthy 4% unemployment rate, the second largest city in Kentucky will keep you employed and saving.
Gross income for a 1BR: 35%
6. Wichita, Kansas
Perhaps better known for Tornadoes and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Wichita is actually the largest city in Kansas. With 5.3% unemployment and 386,000 people living there, you’re sure to find something affordable. 35% of your income is what’s needed for an apartment.
Ohio’s Capital, it’s most populous city and home to Ohio State University, it has it all. 4.3% unemployment and a very reasonable 35% of gross income for a large metro.
8. Omaha, Nebraska
Warren Buffet’s home town is, by all accounts, a great place to live. What definitely helps is the 3.0% unemployment rate. Percentage of gross income: 35%
Our last two entries shocked us. We didn’t really think anything from either coast would make it in, but none the less they did. Although placing Buffalo on the east coast is a bit of a stretch, we’ll try it anyway.
The one thing you need to be careful about in Spokane is its unemployment rate. Close to 8.4% makes us wary about moving there. The affordability for those who live there, however, is very fair. Close to 35% for a one bedroom.
10. Buffalo, New York
Known for its cold, long winters and declining economy, Buffalo is cheap to live if you have a job. 7.3% rate of unemployment makes it somewhat unattractive, but the affordability for those who do have a job is the best in all of New York, only 36%.