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SOURCE HotPads, Inc.
The average Chicago renter spent 143 days in 2017 earning just enough to cover the median rent, not including other living expenses like food and transportation.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Renters in Chicago spent more than half their workdays in 2017 earning enough money to cover the rent, according to a new analysis from HotPads®. This doesn't include time spent working to pay for other living expenses, like food and transportation.
There were 260 workdays in 2017, and the typical Chicago renter earning the median income worked 143 of those in order to have enough money to pay rent this year. The median annual income in Chicago is $39,380, while the median rent is $1,795 per month, or $21,540 per year. This means Chicago renters are spending about 55 percent of their working time earning enough money just to pay rent. Nationally, 13 percent of renters report living with roommates to offset these high costs.i
The gap is wider for Chicago renters making less than the city's median income. For example, baristas worked 283 days this year in order to afford the average rental in Chicago, and those in retail worked 244 days. In comparison, financial analysts worked about half the average time -- just 71 days -- to earn enough to pay rent this year.
"With only 260 working days a year, Chicago renters are faced with the reality that they will spend more than half of them just trying to make their rent," said Douglas Pope, co-founder and general manager of HotPads. "Luckily, there are plenty of vibrant Chicago neighborhoods for renters to consider that are below the city's average median rent, such as Marquette Park and Pullman. Renters can also consider doubling up with roommates to reduce some of that burden the cost of rent puts on their wallets."
Financial experts recommend renters dedicate no more than one-third of their monthly income toward a rental payment, but even renters who are comfortable spending half their paycheck on rent still have few options within the city.
Baristas who are comfortable spending half their income on rent each month can only afford to do so in the Marynook neighborhood, where the median rent is $775 a month. Retail workers have a few more options, including Marquette Park, Pullman and The Island.
Meanwhile, financial analysts can afford to live alone in any Chicago neighborhood if they are comfortable putting 40 percent of their income toward rent. In West DePaul, for example, where median rent is $2,750 per month, a financial analyst will need to devote 41.5 percent of their annual income -- or 108 workdays -- toward rent.
HotPads is a Zillow Group owned apartment and home search platform for renters in urban areas across the United States. For more information on Chicago's rental market, visit HotPads.com.
Time Worked for Rent in 2017 by Job Category
Cost of Rent
Days Worked for Rent in 2017 by Neighborhood
HotPads is the most efficient rental search platform for urban areas across the United States, with features designed for competitive markets such as map-based search, real-time notifications and detailed information on landlords and property managers that help renters spend less time searching and more time feeling excited about their next home.
Launched in 2005, HotPads is based in San Francisco and is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z and ZG).
HotPads is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.
i Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends, 2017
ii Incomes in this analysis were determined using city-level data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
iii HotPads assumed a 40-hour workweek to calculate the hourly wage for a job category. For salaried workers, this is the equivalent hourly wage.
iv To calculate the yearly rent, HotPads took Chicago's current monthly median rent and multiplied it by 12.
v HotPads assumed eight-hour workdays to calculate the days worked to pay rent.
vi Income data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' "Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop" job category.
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