HTX RealEstateConfidential 2015
Rental Woes

Want to rent a nice apartment in Houston? Then you need to make this much money

Want to rent a nice H-Town apartment? Then you need to make this much

apartment for rent sign on telephone pole
You need to make $60,520 a year in Houston to afford an apartment without a roommate in Houston BrunchNews.com

It might be normal to complain about the high cost of renting an apartment in Houston, but it seems that nationally we're not alone. According to a Zillow analysis done in April, it's darn near impossible to rent a median-priced apartment in most of the 35 largest U.S. metro areas on an income of $15 an hour.

Here's the catch, though: The study uses $15 as the "minimum wage" — inspired by Seattle's decision — when that's not an accurate number in most cities. (In Houston, minimum wage is still $7.25.) In order for two people to afford median rent here, which is $1,513, according to the April 2015 Zillow Rent Index, they must each make $15.13 an hour.

 If you don't want a roommate (or several), you have to make at least $30.26 an hour. In terms of annual salary, the magic number in Houston is $60,520. 

If you don't want a roommate (or several), you have to make at least $30.26 an hour. This is assuming 40 hours worked a week, for 50 weeks in a year. In terms of annual salary, the magic number in Houston is $60,520.

The other thing Zillow points out is that these numbers take into account the fiscally responsible advice of not spending more than 30 percent of your monthly income on housing. Of course it is always an option to splash out on an apartment and be frugal in other areas. (Can you really give up dinners out, though?)

Or you could move to Detroit (where an $11.21 hourly wage is needed for two earners to afford median rent), Pittsburgh ($11.24), St. Louis ($11.37), Cleveland ($11.61) or Indianapolis ($11.99).

Unless you plan on raking it in, steer clear of San Jose ($32.87), San Francisco ($31.62), Los Angeles ($24.98), New York ($23.72) and San Diego ($23.30).

Loyal to the Lone Star State? It'll cost you $14.65 an hour for two to rent in Dallas, and $16.86 for a pair in Austin.