At the end of last week, a study by the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology announced that D.C. is one of the most affordable cities in the nation. This comes as a surprise to most people as our nation’s capital is notorious for being an expensive place to live. The study found that out of the 25 largest metro areas in the country, the District puts the lowest burden of housing and transportation on its residents.
However, these numbers were based not on actual housing and transportation prices, which tend to be among the highest in the country and have increased considerably in the past ten years. Instead, the prices relate to the median income of each city. Washington’s median income is $89,000, and the study looked at households with 50 to 100 percent of the median (between $44,000 and $89,000). This high number offsets the percentage of people’s income spent on housing and transportation. Renters in the last year spent 48% of their income on housing and transportation while homeowners spent 54%.
Other cities included in the top five are Boston and San Francisco, both considered to be expensive places to live. Once again, the median income in those cities was higher thus cushioning the costs of housing and transportation.
In contrast, Miami and Tampa, Florida and Riverside, California, were among the most expensive cities in which to live. Although Miami’s housing costs were lower than that of D.C.’s, its median income was also much lower making the percentages higher. The study found that in Miami, renters spend %69 of their income on housing and transportation while homeowners spend %74.
The end of the study encourages city authorities to create more affordable housing around public transportation.
Students living in Georgetown, for now, still live in the most expensive part of the District. This Thursday, the Graduate Student Organization will host a panel on this topic of high rent in D.C. and what determines these expenses.
Via DC Streets Blog