Real Estate News

Here are the cities where renters can least afford the holidays

Housing advocate: ‘It’s ridiculous to ask these families to pay this much.’

Six out of the seven least affordable metropolitan areas across the U.S. are in California. They are Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Riverside and Sacramento.
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Six out of the seven least affordable metropolitan areas across the U.S. are in California. They are Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Riverside and Sacramento.

Holiday decorations are up, gifts are being wrapped and joyous celebrations are in order.

But the promise of holiday merriment can cause “pre-holiday panic” due to the expenses – especially among the nation’s renters, according to a RentCafé study.

Renters tend to have about half the incomes of homeowners, U.S. Census data show.

Americans are expected to spend an average of $983 on gifts this year, up from $935.58 in 2016, according to the American Research Group and Investopedia. And then there are the decorations and feasts.

Renters in Sacramento and Fresno need to save $340 and $275, respectively, to cover the winter holidays.

By analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Yardi Matric, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Retail Federation, RentCafé found that the average U.S. renter household’s holiday budget for November through December breaks down like so:

Income: $5,865

Rent: $2,716

Food, gas, health care, Social Security: $2,696

Gifts, sweets, decorations and dinner: $1,002

This means those households need $549 in savings to cover the costs, which can be a tall order.

RentCafé took the study a step further, finding out how much the average family would have to save in the 50 biggest cities to cover holiday expenses.

In 24 of the 50 cities, renters ended the season with a positive balance; none were in California and a majority were in Texas.

Renters in Sacramento and Fresno need to save $340 and $275, respectively, to cover the winter holidays.

The average rent for all rentals in Sacramento is $1,223, while the average apartment size is 835 square feet, according to RentCafé. And according to a study by WalletHub, the average Sacramento family’s holiday budget is $541 – below the average nationally.

Meanwhile, California holds six out of 15 spots for cities in which the most savings are needed for the holidays:

  • Manhattan, N.Y.: $4,349
  • Boston, Mass.: $4,014
  • San Francisco: $2,657
  • Oakland: $2,567
  • Los Angeles: $2,245
  • Miami: $1,558
  • San Jose: $1,494
  • Chicago: $$1,424
  • Philadelphia: $1,241
  • Long Beach: $1,226
  • Washington, D.C.: $1,156
  • San Diego: $968
  • Minneapolis: $891
  • Detroit: $890
  • Seattle: $793

View all of the results and find a calculator to show you how you will close out the year here.

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