Raleigh and Charlotte are among the top 10 most affordable metro areas for renters, according to a recent study.
Apartment List, an online rental marketplace, used census data on rents and incomes to determine which metropolitan areas were the most affordable for renters in 2016.
Raleigh was ranked No. 3 for affordability. Charlotte was ranked No. 8.
The U.S. renter population is nearing 44 million households – about 37 percent of all households in the country – and rents are increasing nationwide.
Census data show that nearly half of all U.S. renters are “cost burdened,” or spending 30 percent or more of their income on rent. About a quarter of all renters are “severely cost burdened,” spending 50 percent or more of their income on rent.
The share of cost-burdened renters has doubled since 1960, when just 24 percent of renters were cost burdened, according to census data.
In 2016, 49.7 percent of all renters were cost burdened, the lowest level since 2008. The decrease in the number of cost-burdened renters is due to growth in renter incomes, which outpaced increases in rent prices, according to census data.
But that was largely the result of a change in composition of the renter population – more high-income renters are delaying home ownership and low-income renters may be choosing to live with family or may be pushed into cheaper markets.
In Raleigh, 42.1 percent of renters were cost burdened in 2016. From 2005 to 2016, rents in Raleigh increased by 14.2 percent, while renter incomes increased by 9.6 percent.
About 18.2 percent of Raleigh renters were severely cost burdened in 2016, spending 50 percent or more of their income on rent.