HOUSTON – A new report says nearly half of Houston renters can't afford to live in their apartments.
San Francisco-based online apartment portal Apartment List analyzed U.S. Census data from 50 major cities and ranked them by the share of apartment renters who are considered cost- or rent-burdened (meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their household income on rent).
About 49.7 percent of Houston apartment renters were rent-burdened last year. That's slightly higher than the Texas average of 48.9 percent but lower than the national average of 51.8 percent.
Apartment List's study also shows that people who struggle to pay their apartment rent are less likely to buy a home in the near future because of difficulty saving for a down payment. Only half of rent-burdened renters plan to buy a home.
However, Houston renters are not as cost-burdened as renters in other cities. Houston ranked No. 38 among 50 cities with the highest share of rent-burdened residents. This suggests that household incomes have kept up with skyrocketing rents in Houston, said Andrew Woo, researcher and manager of growth strategies at Apartment List.
Miami ranked No. 1 with the largest share of rent-burdened residents at 66.2 percent.
Houston is faring better than most major Texas cities, except for Dallas where 48.5 percent of renters can't afford rent. Austin and San Antonio have higher proportions of rent-burdened residents at 50.1 percent and 51.9 percent, respectively.