Some of the most rapidly growing job markets are in cities with a very high cost of rental living.

The proportion of income to rent in 11 of the top 17 metros for job growth exceeds 33 percent, according to recent info from real estate database Mad Valorem.

In six markets, the proportion of rent to annual income exceeds 40 percent:

  • Boston, 65 percent
  • San Francisco, 59 percent
  • Hanford, Connecticut, 56 percent
  • Chicago, nearly 47 percent
  • Baltimore, 46.4 percent
  • Washington, D.C., 41 percent

The highest median rents are found in San Francisco, at $3,715. Three other metros feature rents that exceed $2,000 — Boston ($2,900), San Jose, California ($2,570), and Washington, D.C. ($2,250). Chicago is the next highest at $1,850.


The proportion of rent to income is close to hitting 40 percent in three additional markets — San Jose (38 percent), Denver (38 percent) and Dallas-Fort Worth (39 percent).

On the flip side, seven of the top 17 markets for job growth sport median rents that account for less than 33 percent of households’/tenants’ annual income.

Properties in these markets — a number of which are secondary locales — should attract more attention from buyers during the second half of 2015, as room for future rent growth appears to exist.

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, represents the most affordable market out of the top locales for job growth. The proportion of income to rent in the metro stands at 23 percent. Median rent is cited as $1,050.

Kansas City (25 percent), Salt Lake City (26 percent), Nashville (30 percent), Austin (32.5 percent), Seattle (33 percent), Minneapolis (32.6 percent) and Richmond, Virginia (32 percent) represent additional affordable markets experiencing significant job growth.

The lowest median rents cited are in Kansas City and Salt Lake City at $950 and $999, respectively. Of this group of markets, Seattle has the highest median rent at roughly $1,800.

According to the report, the top markets for job growth, in order, are:

  • San Jose
  • San Francisco
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Seattle
  • Boston
  • Austin
  • Baltimore
  • Denver
  • Salt Lake City

Email Erik Pisor.

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