Too Damn High
Is San Antonio rent too damn high? A new report from Apartment List reveals that more than half of San Antonio renters are "cost burdened," meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent.
Apartment List analyzed U.S. Census data from 2007 to 2014 and found that a whopping 51.9 percent of San Antonio renters were cost burdened in 2014: The median monthly rent was $873 a month, while median monthly renter income was $2,615. That burden increased from 46.7 percent in 2007 when the local median renter income was $2,373 per month and the median monthly rent ran $698.
In other grim news, the report shows that more than half of San Antonio's cost-burdened renters are severely burdened, meaning they spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent.
While the burden has gotten heavier, Apartment List notes that San Antonio has fared better than other cities, as our median income has also increased over time. The national average of cost-burdened renters was a 51. 8 percent burden in 2014, just a .01 percentile point less than San Antonio.
The report warns that any cost burden — especially a severe one — can hinder renters from transitioning to homeownership and preparing for the future. "Most personal finance experts recommend allocating 20 to 30 percent of income for rent, around 5 percent on healthcare, and around 10 percent for savings; high rents are likely eating into funds that should be set aside for health emergencies, the down payment on a home, or a retirement fund."