A new report took a look at how many hours New Yorkers need to work per week just to be able to afford rent.
The report, released by Self Inc., analyzed data from Zillow and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) between 2010 and 2019 and found that the median monthly rent nationwide increased by 20.5 percent, while the median hourly wage only rose by 17.6 percent. New data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported fair market rents to be approximately $980 for a one-bedroom and $1,200 for a two-bedroom rental in 2020. Meanwhile, the most recent median hourly wage estimate from the BLS is $19.14.
Self’s report indicates that if someone used the 28% rule, which suggests that renters should spend no more than 28 percent of their income on housing, a person in the U.S. earning the median wage would have to work 42.2 hours per week in order to afford a one-bedroom rental, or 51.8 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom rental. According to their findings, New York residents must work 50.2 hours a week to afford rent for a one-bedroom apartment, the third-highest of the states analyzed. The number increases to 59.1 hours per week for a two-bedroom apartment.
Self cites the difference in fair market rental prices as part of the reason why New Yorkers have to work more hours. While New York has a median hourly wage of $22.44, the median average rent in New York is $1,366 for a one-bedroom and $1,609 for a two-bedroom.
The report also took a look at the largest metropolitan areas to see where they fair in comparison to other big cities. According to their findings, the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA area has the seventh-highest number of hours to afford rent with 56.6 hours per week for a one-bedroom and 65.1 hours per week for a two-bedroom. Fair market rent for this metropolitan area is $1,613 for a one-bedroom and $1,856 for a two-bedroom.