Rent and income growth: Do they ever trend together?

  • An Apartment List study says U.S. rents rose 64 percent between 1960 and 2014, while real household incomes increased by 18 percent.
  • Incomes in Washington D.C., Boston and San Francisco jumped since 1980, but rents have increased twice as fast.
  • Income fell by 10 percent in Houston during the span, even though rents continued to push forward.
  • Sparked by a growing population, Austin rents rose steadily since 1980, but incomes kept up with the ascending flow.

Does it feel like more of the paycheck is going toward rent? For most metros, renters are spending more of relatively unchanged incomes, according to Apartment List. Some of the most economically unbalanced cities for rent and income growth include Houston, Washington D.C., Boston and San Francisco, according to the website’s rent growth study.