Single women unable to afford rent and mortgage in most major metros

By Kelly Leighton | March 8, 2017 | 2 min. read

Single people, especially women, are struggling to afford homeownership and rent in most major cities.

Since single women’s median income is lower than men’s on average, they are priced out of several major cities.

PropertyShark and  RENTCafé recently priced the 50 biggest metros in the country to determine where single people could afford housing on their own. Being able to afford housing is defined as spending no more than 30 percent of one’s monthly income on rent or mortgage payments. They defined homes as starter units, such as studios and one-bedroom rentals, condos or houses.

Results found that in nine of the 50 cities, single men could afford mortgage, but single women could not. Fourteen cities, including Philadelphia, have priced out all singles. Philadelphia does have lower costs than other cities on the list, such as Manhattan and San Francisco, but based on the average salary, single people of both genders would struggle to afford housing. Women, more so, have a tough time in Philadelphia, the study found that it costs 54 percent of the average woman’s salary to pay a mortgage.

Renting is even worse, according to the study. For single men, they can afford the mortgage in 35 out of 50 cities. But rent? Not so much. They can only afford the rent on a similar building (typical one-bedroom or studio) in 18 cities. Single females can only afford rent in two of the 50 cities analyzed.

In Philadelphia, neither gender is likely to be able to afford a rent or a mortgage solo on the average salary.

Wichita, KS and Tulsa, OK are the lone two cities where both genders can afford a rent and a mortgage with their average salary.

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