If you want to rent a one-bedroom in Seattle, you’ll need to make $30 an hour
Renters already know that finding an affordable place in Seattle is near impossible. But sometimes local employers do not appreciate how bonkers the rental market really is.
According to a report published this week from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, a person trying to find a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle this year would need earn at least $29.40 an hour, or $61,152 a year.
That's a 22 percent salary increase over what someone had to earn to pay for that same apartment last year.
And — make sure you're sitting down — that's a 67 percent increase in salary over what you needed to earn in 2014 to find a similar spot.
Got kids? The two-bedroom rental numbers are even more grim: You'd need to be making more than $75,000 a year.
Common wisdom says to spend no more than a quarter to a third of your wages on your housing. Spend more than that, and the federal government considers you "cost-burdened." Spend half of your wages or more, and you're deemed severely rent burdened.
For the National Low Income Housing Coalition report, authors assumed people weren't spending more than a third of their pay on rent. But according to a 2017 report from rental-listing company Apartment List, nearly half of Seattleites do.
In the Seattle metro area, 41 percent of the population are renters. The average wage is $24 per hour.
Rent in older buildings is about $1,460, according to aSeattle Times story from September; for new apartments, it's more than $2,000.
As a state, Washington ranks eighth on the list of least affordable rental markets in the country. But even statewide, the amount you'd need to earn to afford a two-bedroom apartment, for example, is much lower than Seattle's: $26.20 an hour.