The study compared current rental listings with minimum recommended living space and the minimum salary required to pay the rent. According to this survey, no more than 29 percent of a household’s gross income should be spent on rent per month. The minimum amount of space used to calculate and compare rent-per-square-foot is a little small by American standards: 420 for a single person and 797 for four people.
Using those metrics, Washington renters would need an income of at least $57,670 to pay the average rent of $3.33 per square foot, or $1,398 for a 420-square-foot unit or a minimum of $109,756 to pay for an average rent for a family of four of $2,654.
In San Francisco, single renters would need an income of $85,985 and a family would need an income of $163,151 to pay the rent on an average apartment, which costs $4.95 per square foot.
The least costly city in the United States is Detroit, where single renters can afford an apartment with an income of $18,934 and a family needs an income of $35,926.
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