Real Estate

The Best (and Worst) Places for Singles to Rent Studios

Have you considered a studio apartment? It’s a popular choice for those just starting out and looking to save money — and maybe to vacuum less often or take shorter walks to the fridge. Plus, without a roommate, privacy is abundant.

RentHop’s Singles Index ran with this idea, ranking the largest 50 U.S. cities according to affordability for singles, based on the median cost of a studio apartment relative to average local salaries of single people. Researchers examined about 1.2 million studio listings posted on RentHop in 2020 and 2021 (through October), cross-referencing them with income data from the Census Bureau.

Studios in Miami took the biggest chunk from the paychecks of local singles, who earned an average of about $58,000 a year and spent more than 37 percent of that ($1,800 a month) to cover a year of median studio rent. In New York City, the average income among singles was higher, about $79,500, and just under 37 percent of that ($2,450 a month) was needed for a year’s rent. Next was New Orleans, where the average single person made $46,397 a year and shelled out 33 percent to rent a studio ($1,269 a month). Although rents fell in New Orleans by about 2 percent — it was one of only 10 cities with falling or steady rents during the year — that didn’t help studio renters much.

Mostly, rents rose in 2021, led by Boston and San Antonio, at about 21 percent each. But do not despair: There may be an affordable studio oasis in your future. In Wichita, Kan., where the average single person’s income was $44,028, just 14 percent of that (or $500 a month) was required to rent a studio. Also attractive was Columbus, Ohio, where singles earned an average of $54,559 and paid about 14 percent of that to cover the median studio rent of $625 a month.

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