Multifamily Midwest

RENTCafe survey: Too many renters can't afford to live close to work

RENTCafe survey: Too many renters can't afford to live close to work,ph01

Living near your job is one of the most important factors when it comes to qualify of life. The problem for many? Apartment rents are sky-high in locations near the center of cities, where many jobs are. That makes it difficult for a growing number of renters to enjoy the short commute times that help lead to a happy life.

RENTCafe recently surveyed more than 2,000 renters and found that less than 17 percent of them lived close to the location they most desire. This means that 83 percent of those surveyed were renting in what they considered less-than-ideal locations.

The top reason keeping these renters from their ideal locations was no surprise: high rents.

According to the survey, most renters consider their ideal location to be near their job. This option outranked living close to friends or family or near attractions such as entertainment, dining, shopping and gyms.

A total of 60 percent of respondents told RENTCafe that they are not able to pay anything more than the rent they are already paying or a maximum of $100 or more to move to their preferred locations. The higher rents closer to job centers, then, are keeping a majority of renters away from these locations.

RENTCafe reported that nationally the average rent charged by apartment buildings in top-rated locations is $1,655 a month, 37 percent more than the national average rent of $1,211 charged in lower-rated locations. That comes out to an average difference of $444 a month in rent, more than what many renters say they can afford to pay.

This is a problem in the Midwest, too. RENTCafe found that in Chicago, the average apartment rent for a top location stood at $2,182, while that number dipped to $1,217 for an apartment in a lower-ranked location. That’s an average of $965 more a month for apartments in more desirable locations.

In St. Louis, the average apartment rent in top-ranked locations stood at $1,383, $537 a month more than the $846 renters pay on average for units in lower-ranked areas.

In Memphis, renters can expect to pay an average of $693 a month in lower-ranked locations. But those desiring apartments in top-ranked locations will pay an average of $1,043 a month, $350 more a month. And in Indianapolis, renters pay an average of $1,151 a month for an apartment in a top-ranked neighbohrood. That’s $345 a month more than the $806 a month they’d pay for an apartment in a lower-ranked spot.