What does it take to afford to live in Fort Worth? Surprisingly more than elsewhere in Texas — and the U.S. — according to a new report on rental affordability.
Apartment List analyzed the 100 largest U.S. cities to find the minimum gross income needed to afford a local apartment. When compared to the actual median household income, renters in 24 of the cities studied are burdened by the cost of living in a two-bedroom apartment. That's not the case in Fort Worth, which lands on the affordable end of the spectrum, but still comes in as the sixth most expensive spot in the state.
In Fort Worth, the median rent price for a two-bedroom apartment clocks in at $1,147. That means a local renter here needs a gross annual income of $45,920 to afford rent without being cost-burdened, which is defined as spending more than 30 percent of gross income on rent. Apartment List breaks that down to an hourly wage of $22.
Meanwhile, the estimated median household income in Fort Worth for 2018 was $59,143, giving renters plenty of cushion.
More Americans are renting, in part because of rising housing costs, and many of them are burdened by the cost. "Nearly half of renting households are cost-burdened," the report says. "The demographics of renting are changing, as well. As homeownership becomes more and more unattainable for millennials, many forego purchasing a home and opt to rent further into adulthood."
Across the Lone Star State, those earning the median local income are out of the woods when it comes to being cost-burdened by rent, and about half of the Texas cities studied cost less than Fort Worth: Dallas, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Houston, Laredo, El Paso, and Lubbock.
Interestingly, with the exception of Austin (No. 2), Texas' more expensive places to rent are in the Metroplex.
Plano, the most expensive, has a median rent of $1,435 and a required median income of $57,440, but that's not a stretch for residents, as the actual median income is $91,412. Arlington comes in at No. 3 with a median rent of $1,232 and required median income of $49,320.
No. 4 Garland's median rent of $1,225 requires earning $48,920; No. 5 Irving's median rent of $1,219 requires earning $48,680; and No. 7 Dallas comes in as cheaper than Fort Worth, with the median rent of $1,111 requiring $44,480.
But this all pales in comparison to the most expensive U.S. city on the list: Fremont, California, where the median rent price is $3,731 a month and Apartment List recommends renters earn at least $150,040 annually, or a whopping $72 an hour.