Ranking Apartment Rent-to-Income Ratios Across California

  in   Insights

California might have a reputation as having high apartment prices, but that isn’t necessarily the case statewide when adding the additional context of rent-to-income ratios. For example, while San Francisco has the highest effective apartment rents among California’s major markets at $3,268 as of May 2024, incomes are comparatively high in the Bay Area, translating a median rent-to-income ratio below the national norm in San Francisco. Nationwide, rent-to-income ratios hovered around 22.7% as of May, on a trailing 12-month basis, according to data from RealPage Market Analytics. Among major markets, Riverside claimed the state’s highest rent-to-income ratio at 29.9%. Meanwhile San Diego, Oakland, San Francisco, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Sacramento also posted rent-to-income ratios above the national norm. Three California markets – San Francisco, San Jose and Stockton – posted rent-to-income ratios below the national norm. Comparatively affordable Stockton boasted the state’s lowest effective rents at $1,868 and the lowest rent-to-income ratio at 18.7%.

RealPage’s rent-to-income ratio represents signed new leases in market-rate apartments, calculated on a trailing 12-month basis to eliminate seasonality.