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New Teachers Spend Nearly Half Their Income on Rent

The typical rent is unaffordable for entry-level teachers in 49 of the 50 largest U.S. metros

- The median market rate rent payment would take 46.8% of a typical starting teacher's salary, 35.6% of a mid-career teacher's salary and 26.6% of the highest-paid teacher's salary.

- Pittsburgh is the only large U.S. metro where market rate rent prices are affordable for entry-level teachers.

- Mortgage payments are relatively more affordable, taking 26.6% of a typical starting teacher's salary - assuming a 20% down payment.

Aug 27, 2019

SEATTLE, Aug. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Entry-level teachersi will need to spend more than half of their salaries on the typical rent in 19 of the 50 largest U.S. metro areas this school year, according to a new Zillow® analysis.

Nationally, it would take 46.8% of a typical starting teacher's salary to pay the median rent. This improves to 35.6% for a mid-career teacherii – still above the generally accepted 30% threshold for housing costs to be considered affordable – and 26.6% for the highest-paid teachersiii.

Starting teachers literally cannot afford the typical home or rental in San Francisco or San Jose – median payments are greater than 100% of a starting teacher's salary in both metros. Finding a roommate or moving back in with parents may be the only option for these teachers – a previous analysis from HotPads®, a Zillow Group-owned apartment search platform, found that San Francisco renters can save more than $1,000 a month by living with roommates.

But it is not only the most expensive markets where teachers are cost burdened. New teachers spend greater than half of their income on market rate rent in some broadly affordable metros like Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Raleigh.

Of the 50 largest metro areas, only Pittsburgh offers affordable rent for starting teachers. And even the highest-paid teachers would find the typical rental affordable in just over half of large metros.

"Most acknowledge that building more homes is required to address the root cause of eroding housing affordability. Without that new influx to take the pressure off rent and aggressive home value growth, it's the public servants, like teachers, fire fighters, and nurses – the professions that keep us safe, our kids smart, and our families healthy – that often feel the pinch most," said Skylar Olsen, Zillow's director of economic research. "So don't think of housing affordability policies as a choice between change and the status quo. Crowded, job-rich communities will change — and it will be either the buildings that change or the mix of people who can afford to live in them."

Teachers who own a home are in a better position, due in part to the benefit of low mortgage interest rates and decades-long terms that lock in payments even as home prices rise. Starting-level teachers pay 26.6% of their income for the typical mortgage payment nationally and spend less than 30% of their income in 31 of the 50 largest metros. The highest-paid teachers can afford mortgages in all but the four most-expensive metros in California. An additional chunk will come out of households' income for property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and common homeowner maintenance, but even after those expenses, ownership is still more affordable in many markets. All of this presumes, though, that they have managed to put 20% down.

Metropolitan
Area

Median
Rent

Starting
Teacher –
Share of
Salary on
Median
Rent

Median
Teacher –
Share of
Salary on
Median
Rent

Highest-
Paid
Teacher –
Share of
Salary on
Median
Rent

Starting
Teacher –
Share of
Salary on
Median
Mortgage

Median
Teacher –
Share of
Salary on
Median
Mortgage

Highest-Paid
Teacher –  
Share of
Salary on
Median
Mortgage

United States

$1,483

46.8%

35.6%

26.6%

26.6%

20.2%

15.1%

New York, NY

$2,407

52.5%

39.8%

30.4%

35.8%

27.2%

20.7%

Los Angeles, CA

$2,836

85.1%

52.2%

39.6%

72.2%

44.3%

33.6%

Chicago, IL

$1,713

46.7%

34.3%

25.7%

22.7%

16.7%

12.5%

Dallas, TX

$1,661

47.5%

38.3%

35.0%

25.7%

20.8%

18.9%

Philadelphia, PA

$1,614

39.1%

29.8%

23.3%

20.9%

15.9%

12.4%

Houston, TX

$1,588

44.1%

36.6%

32.9%

21.2%

17.6%

15.8%

Washington, DC

$2,185

54.6%

43.7%

32.8%

37.7%

30.2%

22.6%

Miami, FL

$1,938

72.1%

51.7%

41.5%

38.9%

27.9%

22.4%

Atlanta, GA

$1,475

44.3%

35.4%

28.1%

24.4%

19.5%

15.5%

Boston, MA

$2,433

67.9%

45.6%

36.5%

48.0%

32.3%

25.8%

San Francisco, CA

$3,466

104.0%

67.1%

48.9%

104.8%

67.6%

49.3%

Detroit, MI

$1,233

33.7%

24.3%

19.2%

16.5%

11.9%

9.4%

Riverside, CA

$2,017

60.5%

34.6%

26.9%

41.2%

23.6%

18.3%

Phoenix, AZ

$1,480

48.0%

42.3%

35.5%

32.1%

28.3%

23.8%

Seattle, WA

$2,259

74.7%

47.6%

35.7%

59.9%

38.2%

28.6%

Minneapolis, MN

$1,711

51.3%

36.0%

27.4%

30.2%

21.2%

16.1%

San Diego, CA

$2,673

97.2%

50.1%

37.7%

79.5%

41.0%

30.9%

Saint Louis, MO

$1,169

38.4%

28.1%

21.9%

20.4%

14.9%

11.6%

Tampa, FL

$1,465

47.5%

41.8%

33.8%

25.9%

22.8%

18.4%

Baltimore, MD

$1,748

43.7%

35.0%

27.6%

24.8%

19.8%

15.6%

Denver, CO

$2,142

73.4%

52.5%

39.5%

51.8%

37.0%

27.9%

Pittsburgh, PA

$1,108

29.5%

22.9%

15.8%

14.2%

11.0%

7.6%

Portland, OR

$1,895

59.8%

42.9%

33.9%

46.2%

33.2%

26.2%

Charlotte, NC

$1,360

46.6%

37.1%

30.8%

26.7%

21.2%

17.6%

Sacramento, CA

$1,936

64.5%

38.7%

28.7%

50.8%

30.5%

22.6%

San Antonio, TX

$1,388

37.0%

31.4%

28.0%

19.3%

16.3%

14.6%

Orlando, FL

$1,554

50.4%

42.4%

37.3%

28.9%

24.3%

21.4%

Cincinnati, OH

$1,309

39.3%

30.2%

24.2%

18.9%

14.6%

11.7%

Cleveland, OH

$1,176

33.6%

23.5%

19.6%

15.5%

10.9%

9.0%

Kansas City, MO

$1,309

39.3%

32.7%

26.2%

21.3%

17.8%

14.2%

Las Vegas, NV

$1,435

43.1%

34.4%

26.9%

31.0%

24.8%

19.4%

Columbus, OH

$1,380

41.4%

27.6%

22.1%

21.5%

14.3%

11.5%

Indianapolis, IN

$1,244

41.2%

33.2%

24.9%

20.5%

16.5%

12.4%

San Jose, CA

$3,611

108.3%

61.9%

45.6%

129.0%

73.7%

54.3%

Austin, TX

$1,737

52.1%

44.3%

40.0%

34.7%

29.5%

26.6%

Virginia Beach,
VA

$1,449

49.7%

37.0%

31.1%

29.2%

21.7%

18.2%

Nashville, TN

$1,536

52.7%

42.9%

34.8%

32.5%

26.4%

21.4%

Providence, RI

$1,687

38.9%

27.4%

25.1%

25.2%

17.7%

16.3%

Milwaukee, WI

$1,319

37.7%

30.4%

23.3%

24.6%

19.9%

15.2%

Jacksonville, FL

$1,426

45.0%

41.2%

35.7%

25.0%

22.9%

19.8%

Memphis, TN

$1,124

34.6%

30.0%

24.1%

16.1%

13.9%

11.2%

Oklahoma City,
OK

$1,130

38.7%

34.8%

29.5%

18.8%

16.8%

14.3%

Louisville, KY

$1,199

36.0%

26.6%

21.2%

18.2%

13.5%

10.7%

Hartford, CT

$1,584

36.6%

27.2%

22.6%

19.6%

14.6%

12.1%

Richmond, VA

$1,435

39.1%

35.1%

31.3%

23.3%

21.0%

18.7%

New Orleans, LA

$1,401

42.0%

36.5%

31.5%

19.5%

17.0%

14.6%

Buffalo, NY

$1,208

32.2%

23.4%

19.3%

15.9%

11.5%

9.5%

Raleigh, NC

$1,486

50.9%

41.6%

34.3%

34.1%

27.8%

23.0%

Birmingham, AL

$1,114

31.8%

26.7%

23.9%

15.7%

13.2%

11.8%

Salt Lake City, UT

$1,620

57.2%

43.7%

34.6%

48.3%

36.9%

29.2%

About Zillow
Zillow® is transforming how people buy, sell, rent and finance homes by creating seamless real estate transactions for today's on-demand consumer. Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace and a trusted source for data, inspiration and knowledge among both consumers and real estate professionals. 

Zillow's proprietary data, technology and industry partnerships put Zillow at nearly every major point of the home shopping experience, helping consumers search for and get into their new home faster. Zillow now offers a fully integrated home shopping experience that includes access to for sale and rental listings, Zillow Offers®, which provides a new, hassle-free way to buy and sell eligible homes directly through Zillow; and Zillow Home Loans, Zillow's affiliated lender that provides an easy way to receive mortgage pre-approvals and financing. Zillow Premier Agent instantly connects buyers and sellers with its network of real estate professionals to help guide them through the home shopping process. For renters, Zillow's innovations are streamlining the way people search, tour, apply and pay rent for leased properties. 

In addition to Zillow.com, Zillow operates the most popular suite of mobile real estate apps, with more than two dozen apps across all major platforms. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z and ZG) and headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow and Zillow Offers are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

i Defined as being in the 25th percentile of teacher salaries for a given region.
ii Defined as having the median teacher salary for a given region.
iii Defined as being in the 75th percentile of teacher salaries for a given region.

 

SOURCE Zillow

For further information: Alex Lacter, Zillow, press@zillow.com