Revenues in San Bernardino, Calif. rose 31.3% between 2019 and 2021 — but in Baton Rouge, Louisiana they fell 9.6%.
The stark difference is laid bare in a study that tracked changes in median incomes in America’s largest cities over the period – highlighting how some regions enjoyed a period of impressive growth while others declined.
San Bernardino, where median incomes hit $65,311 after the city saw the largest percentage increase in the nation, was closely followed by Huntsville, Alabama, where incomes rose 30.21%, according to the SmartAsset study.
The top five were rounded out by Moreno Valley, California (21.99%), Winston-Salem, North Carolina (21.65%) and Toledo, Ohio (20.27%).
Baton Rouge fared worse after the median income fell from $45,819 to $41,257.
A study has tracked changes in median incomes in America’s biggest cities between 2019 and 2021 – highlighting how some regions have seen impressive growth while others have declined
In San Bernardino, median earnings hit $65,311 after the largest percentage increase in the nation between 2019 and 2021
Baton Rouge fared worse after median income fell from $45,819 to $41,257
There have also been declines in some of America’s most prosperous cities. New York’s median income fell 2.03% from $69,407 to $67,997, while in San Francisco income fell from $123,859 to $121,826, a drop of 1.69 %.
The researchers looked at cities with 200,000 or more residents and used income data from the annual American Community Survey, conducted by the US Census Bureau.
The SmartAsset report said, “In general, median incomes in the United States grew only 3% over two years, but some cities saw up to 10 times that income growth.
“While such disparities may be due to a variety of causes, residents of these cities have had economic tailwinds to help them cope with recent increases in the cost of living.”
The findings come as the cost of living continues to rise in the United States, thanks in part to runaway inflation – and wages for many are not rising in line with rising costs, rising rents exceeds revenue increases across the country – adding to the financial situation of squeeze tenants.
Average rents have risen 134.9% since 1999, while incomes have risen 76.8% over the same period, data from Moody’s Analytics showed in May.
THE Moody’s An analysis found that in 2022, the proportion of US household income needed to rent an apartment at the average price topped 30% for the first time in 25 years of trend tracking. The benchmark, called the rent-to-income ratio (RTI), fell slightly in early 2023 to 29.6%.
A study by Moody’s Analytics found that seven metro areas have average rental costs that are at least 30% of the average wage, increasing the cost of living pressure on renters.
Separate research by Refin found that only four metropolitan areas in the country have average mortgage prices below average rents. The four areas with the highest mortgages to rents are all in California
There are now seven metropolitan areas in the country where the RTI is above 30%:
- Los Angeles: 36% RTI; average rent $2,456
- Miami: 42% RTI; average rent $2,141
- Palm Beach: 34% RTI; average rent $2,051
- Fort Lauderdale: 37% RTI; average rent $2,108
- New York: 68% RTI; average rent $4,334
- Boston: 33% RTI; average rent $2,948
- Northern New Jersey: 33% RTI; average rent $2,416
Separate search by red fin found that there are only four major metropolitan areas where the estimated monthly mortgage cost is lower than the estimated monthly rental cost.
In Detroit, Michigan, mortgages are about 24% lower than rents. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the difference is 6.6%.
In Cleveland, Ohio the average mortgage is 3.9% cheaper and in Houston, TX it is 1.2%.
At the other end of the scale, the four places with the highest mortgages relative to rents are all in California.
In San Jose, the average mortgage of $11,049 is 164.6% higher than the average rent of $4,176.
In San Francisco, the average mortgage is $10,892, compared to the average rental cost of $4,552, a difference of 139.3%.
In San Jose, the average mortgage of $11,049 is 164.6% higher than the average rent of $4,176
In San Francisco, the average mortgage is $10,892, compared to the average rent cost of $4,552 – a difference of 139.3%
In Cleveland, Ohio, the average mortgage is 3.9% cheaper than the average rent
Next is Oakland, where rents average $3,700 but mortgages average $7,376, a difference of 99.4%.
And in Anaheim, the difference is 91.5% – with mortgages averaging $7,892 while rents are $4,122.
Redfin deputy chief economist Taylor Marr said: “Buying a house often makes more sense financially than renting if you can afford a down payment and a monthly mortgage because you’re building equity.
“When you own your home, your home pays you; when you rent, you and your home pay your landlord
“But buying is not a feasible option for everyone. Some people move around a lot, so renting may make more sense as they won’t be staying in their home long enough to build up capital.
“Many more simply don’t have the money for a down payment, a situation that has become increasingly common due to rising mortgage rates and high house prices.”