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Which Cities Have Homeowners Struggling to Save?

A joint study by PropertyShark and RENTCafé on discretionary income took data from residents in the top 50 largest cities to determine the locales where the locals can live more lucratively. Taking median household income, home prices, and cost of living, the study found that in 44 out of the 50 cities surveyed, homeowners can save rather than spend each month.

Surprisingly, the six the worst states for homeowners to live and save reside in the Southern and Midwestern states, rather than the typically hotter West coast market. Miami rests at the bottom of this list, putting a dent of $1,219 on average per month out of homeowner’s pockets. With a very low median household income of $4,241 compared to similar cities, and living costs exceeding $4,274, as well as adding housing costs of about $1,186 to the equation, monthly expenses take a toll on these Floridians.

The runner-up for worst in affordability shifts to the chillier climate of Detroit, where the median household income of $3,204 doesn’t cover monthly essentials and housing costs and leaves no room for saving, leaving the average owner with a negative balance of $905 each month.

Cleveland and Philadelphia have the average homeowner struggling to make a start in savings in 48th and 47th place. The median household income in Cleveland is $3,536, nearly equal to the monthly living costs of $3,647, leaving the average resident in an $842 debt if they don’t watch their pocketbooks carefully. The average debt for a homeowner in Philadelphia is $719 each month.

The last two cities leaving owners in the red are Memphis, accruing the average homeowner $146 worth of debt a month, and New Orleans, which leaves homeowners just in sight of savings, with an average monthly debt of only $67.

“Discretionary income was determined for each city by subtracting living and housing costs from the median household income, which was extracted from Census data, while living costs, such as food, healthcare, entertainment, and transportation were taken from U.S. Department of Labor. Rent data was provided by RENTCafé,” the report stated.

About Author: Kristina Brewer

Kristina Brewer is the Editorial Assistant of Publications for the Five Star Institute, including DS News and MReport magazine. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas (UNT), where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in rhetoric and writing and a minor in global marketing. During this time, she served as Director of Philanthropy in the national women’s fraternity Zeta Tau Alpha, of which she is an alumna. Her passion for philanthropy continued after university when she was an intern at Keep Denton Beautiful, a local partner of Keep America Beautiful, where she drove membership, organized events, and led social media campaigns. Brewer honed her writing at the North Texas Daily, UNT’s student-run newspaper where she wrote about faculty, mentorship, and student life. Brewer also previously worked at Optimus Business Plans where she helped start-ups create funding proposals, risk assessments, and management plans.
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