Single men and women can’t afford to buy a home in Austin, according to study

It’s not news that homes in Austin cost a pretty penny. In fact, we just reported on a recent study revealing Austinites have to make at least $52,578 to afford a home in the city.

Another new study from Property Shark reveals it’s even harder to buy a home in Austin if you’re buying one alone — that is, if you’re unmarried or otherwise unattached (or if you don’t have a friend or family member to go halfsies with on a new home).

The Austin skyline as seen looking northwest from the Lakeshore area showing the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake August 31, 2016. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Austin skyline as seen looking northwest from the Lakeshore area showing the Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake August 31, 2016.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The organizers of the study gathered information on home prices and rents across the 50 largest cities in the United States and compared that information to the average incomes of men and women in the city. Then the study used the housing industry “rule” of spending no more than 30 percent of income on either mortgage payments or rent to determine whether single men and women could afford a home in each city.

It resulted in what Property Shark called a “rather bleak picture of the urban housing market,” with women disproportionately affected due to the fact that women earn significantly less than men,  making it more difficult for women to afford living alone.

However, the study revealed that neither gender can afford to buy a home in Austin, one of 14 cities that have priced out single men and women completely. It’s bad news for renters, too — the study showed neither gender can afford to rent their own one-bedroom apartment in Austin either, according to the 30 percent rule (though we’re aware that many Austinites break this rule).

Image via Property Shark

Image via Property Shark

Austin was the only Texas city on the list to have completely rendered single men and women unable to buy a home, but Fort Worth and Houston were among the nine cities with the biggest difference in average income between genders, making it easier for men to buy homes than women.

So what are the best U.S. cities to find an affordable home? Atlanta, Las Vegas and the three largest cities in Arizona – Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa – are good for both genders, the study says. For women buying homes, Detroit comes in first place, with homeowners spending only 4 percent of their income on monthly payments, followed by Witchita, Kan. and Indianapolis, Ind. Arlington, Texas is sixth on the list of most affordable cities for women.

If there’s any good news in all of this, it’s that rental rates are stabilizing in Austin, providing relief for those who rent apartments. The average monthly apartment rent in Austin is about $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,300 for a two-bedroom apartment.

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