Forget groceries, utilities, and dining out—every American knows that the single largest drain on a budget is housing. As homeownership dips to its lowest level in decades, rent has become increasingly unaffordable in America’s superstar cities and tech hubs. In San Francisco and L.A., typical renters can expect to pay about half of their total income to housing and more than 40 percent in New York City, according to a recent Zillow analysis. Across the nation as a whole, rent eats up an average of 30 percent of income to housing, the highest figure since Zillow began tracking this data.
And these are city-wide averages: The share of household income put toward rent goes even higher in certain neighborhoods. But just how high can the rent go in America’s most expensive neighborhoods?