A new study by sleep and wellness publication eachnight has revealed the most affordable U.S. cities for single professionals to buy a one-bedroom home, and Tucson is No. 2 among most affordable cities for single professionals.
The share of U.S. homeowners who are single is on the rise, hitting a record 38 percent in 2018. But so too are house prices, which are growing at double the rate of the average worker’s salary, often leaving young, single professionals with difficult decisions to make about their careers.
To find out which U.S. cities are most affordable for single professionals and where they’re being priced out of the 1-bed housing market, the data analysts at eachnight reviewed the average cost of 1-bed homes in 25 of the most populated U.S. cities on Realtor.com and compared these against the average regional salary.
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The most affordable city for a 1-bed home is Jacksonville, Florida – where workers need a modest minimum annual salary of $29,135
Jacksonville Business Journal reports more people are moving to the area for a suburban lifestyle in a more affordable market. Recent research supports this, showing Jacksonville is one of the more affordable places to own a home in the U.S. While average salaries are lower than the national average, this is offset by cheaper property prices.
The jobs market in Jacksonville is also growing above the national average; in 10 years it’s projected the city will have 14 percent more job opportunities, compared to 7 percent growth U.S-wide.
On top of Jacksonville offering the most affordable 1-bed homes, studios in the city require buyers to earn just $12,824.
Tucson, Arizona is the second most affordable U.S. city studied for single buyers, with professionals needing a salary of $29,339 to buy a 1-bed property. In a recent study of the strength of the jobs market in 180 U.S. cities, Tucson was ranked 44th in the list of the best cities to find a job.
Dallas, Texas comes in third place for its affordability for single buyers, with workers needing an annual salary of $33,949 to get finance. Over the past decade, the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area has seen employment rise by nearly 27 percent compared to the relatively modest 13.3 percent nationwide. It’s also now America’s 25th fastest growing city.
In fourth place is Milwaukee, Wisconsin – a hub for precision manufacturing – where 1-bed homes on average require an annual salary of $37,185. Milwaukee fares well nationwide as the 86th best place to live and its average salary is $51,040, just below the U.S. average of $51,960.
However, in 32 percent of cities studied, single buyers can’t afford a 1-bed home on their salary alone meaning many young people must make a difficult choice between owning a home and growing their careers.
In four cities – San Francisco, New York, Boston and San Jose – single buyers need a six-figure salary to buy a 1-bed home which makes getting on the property ladder near impossible, especially as only 9 percent of the U.S. population earns over $100,000 a year:
The average cost of a 1-bed home in San Francisco is now a staggering $891,332, meaning a single professional must earn over $178,000 a year to afford it. To put this into perspective, this is $532,992 over budget based on what the average local worker can afford.
In New York, the average single buyer needs to earn $78,780 a year to afford a studio apartment or $142,383 a year for a 1-bed property.
In Boston, it’s $105,578 and $133,351 respectively. And in San Jose a single buyer needs an annual salary of $108,198 for a studio. This increases to $111,803 for a 1-bed.
Jasmin Lee, Editor at eachnight commented on the findings: “It’s been really interesting to study the most affordable cities for single professionals against a backdrop of rising house prices across the U.S, making buying a home in the city difficult or even impossible for many workers. Unfortunately, some of the cities with more diverse job opportunities require six-figure salaries if you want to get on the property ladder there. Ultimately, there may be some cities that see a talent drain, affecting businesses across all sectors, as young professionals decide to relocate to more affordable areas.”