Top 30 Cities: Price to Rent & Price to Income Ratios (2011)

By request, here’s an update to my table of housing stats for the top 30 largest cities in the country. Actually this time it’s the top 31, since Las Vegas got ousted from #30 by Oklahoma City the last time I did this list (in late 2010). Also of note: Detroit’s ongoing dramatic decline in population caused it to fall from the eleventh-largest city last time to the eighteenth-largest this time around. At this rate Seattle will be bigger than Detroit in just another few years.

All of the data below is based on official Census Bureau estimates for July 2011 (the latest data available). Note that these numbers are for the cities proper, not the whole metro area.

The “price” column represents the median home value, the “rent” column is the median monthly rent, and “income” is the median household income.

  • “P/R” is the median home sale price divided by the annual median rent (“rent” * 12). Higher numbers mean home prices are more expensive relative to rents.
  • “P/I” is the median home sale price divided by the median household income. Higher numbers mean home prices are more expensive relative to incomes.
  • “I/R” is the median household income divided by the annual median rent. Lower numbers mean rents are more expensive relative to incomes.

By default the table is sorted by population. Click on any column header to sort by that column.

City State Pop. Land Density Price Rent Income P/R P/I I/R
New York NY 8,244,910 302.6 27,247 $490,900 $1,063 $49,461 38.5 9.9 3.9
Los Angeles CA 3,819,702 469.1 8,143 $438,300 $1,033 $46,148 35.4 9.5 3.7
Chicago IL 2,707,120 227.2 11,915 $228,300 $789 $43,628 24.1 5.2 4.6
Houston TX 2,145,146 599.6 3,578 $122,100 $667 $42,877 15.3 2.8 5.4
Philadelphia PA 1,536,471 135.1 11,373 $142,000 $691 $34,207 17.1 4.2 4.1
Phoenix AZ 1,469,471 516.7 2,844 $137,500 $685 $43,960 16.7 3.1 5.3
San Antonio TX 1,359,758 407.6 3,336 $112,300 $658 $42,613 14.2 2.6 5.4
San Diego CA 1,326,179 325.2 4,078 $429,200 $1,201 $60,797 29.8 7.1 4.2
Dallas TX 1,223,229 340.5 3,592 $122,800 $661 $40,585 15.5 3.0 5.1
San Jose CA 967,487 176.5 5,481 $540,800 $1,297 $76,593 34.7 7.1 4.9
Jacksonville FL 827,908 747.0 1,108 $141,200 $704 $44,802 16.7 3.2 5.3
Indianapolis IN 827,609 365.1 2,267 $116,300 $606 $39,015 16.0 3.0 5.4
Austin TX 820,611 297.0 2,763 $217,700 $760 $49,987 23.9 4.4 5.5
San Francisco CA 812,826 46.9 17,342 $719,800 $1,361 $69,894 44.1 10.3 4.3
Columbus OH 797,434 217.2 3,672 $127,000 $626 $40,463 16.9 3.1 5.4
Fort Worth TX 758,738 342.2 2,217 $120,300 $634 $47,399 15.8 2.5 6.2
Charlotte NC 751,087 242.3 3,100 $167,400 $710 $50,177 19.6 3.3 5.9
Detroit MI 706,585 138.8 5,093 $50,200 $547 $25,193 7.6 2.0 3.8
El Paso TX 665,568 255.3 2,607 $120,200 $597 $40,702 16.8 3.0 5.7
Memphis TN 652,050 315.1 2,069 $96,000 $591 $34,960 13.5 2.7 4.9
Boston MA 625,087 48.4 12,907 $364,300 $1,118 $49,081 27.2 7.4 3.7
Seattle WA 620,778 83.9 7,402 $420,400 $943 $61,037 37.2 6.9 5.4
Denver CO 619,968 153.3 4,044 $247,800 $772 $47,371 26.7 5.2 5.1
Baltimore MD 619,493 80.9 7,653 $154,400 $722 $38,721 17.8 4.0 4.5
Washington DC 617,996 61.4 10,065 $422,400 $1,131 $63,124 31.1 6.7 4.7
Nashville TN 609,644 504.0 1,210 $161,600 $656 $42,639 20.5 3.8 5.4
Louisville KY 602,011 385.1 1,563 $138,300 $552 $42,019 20.9 3.3 6.3
Milwaukee WI 597,867 96.1 6,220 $131,300 $613 $33,122 17.8 4.0 4.5
Portland OR 593,820 133.4 4,450 $275,500 $768 $47,033 29.9 5.9 5.1
Oklahoma City OK 591,967 607.0 975 $135,200 $558 $42,995 20.2 3.1 6.4
Las Vegas NV 589,317 135.8 4,340 $153,200 $803 $46,995 15.9 3.3 4.9

Here are the averages weighted by population:

  • Median Home Price: $293,638
  • Median Rent: $861
  • Median Income: $46,731
  • Price to Rent: 26.1
  • Price to Income: 6.0
  • Income to Rent: 4.7

As of 2011, Seattle had the seventh most-expensive home prices relative to incomes, the twenty-third most-expensive rents compared to incomes, and the third highest price to rent ratio.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.