Feeling the pain

Startling study shows how many San Antonians are weighed down by rent

Startling study shows how many San Antonians are weighed down by rent

The River House Apartment Homes San Antonio
San Antonians have a bigger rent burden than residents of any other Texas city. The River House Apartment Homes/Facebook

When it comes to paying rent, San Antonio residents carry a bigger burden than those of any other major metro area in Texas, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by listings site Apartment List, shows 50.4 percent of renters in San Antonio struggled to pay rent in 2018. The analysis, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, indicates 47.2 percent of renters in Dallas-Fort Worth were burdened by rent last year. Austin and Houston stood at 49.3 percent.

Median monthly rent in San Antonio grew 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, the report says, while median annual income for renters grew just 4 percent during the same period.

In the study, San Antonio surpassed metro areas like Denver, Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, and Seattle for the percentage of renters who run into trouble paying rent. Among the country’s 100 largest metro areas, 49.7 percent of renters were cost-burdened in 2018.

Apartment List found 25.9 percent of San Antonio renters face a “moderate” burden, while the burden is “severe” for 24.5 percent. The website defines a cost-burdened household as one where rent eats up more than 30 percent of household income. A severe cost burden means a household spends at least half of its income on rent.

In 2018, the median monthly rent in San Antonio was $1,002, with the median annual income for renters at $36,959. While housing costs are lower in San Antonio than in its major-city counterparts in Texas, income also is lower.

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