New report names Hawaii priciest state for rentals - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New report names Hawaii priciest state for rentals

(Image: Hawaii News Now/File) (Image: Hawaii News Now/File)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

$34.22.

That’s what someone needs to earn hourly in the islands to afford the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment, a new state-by-state report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition says.

The wage translates to an annual household income of $71,184.

The "Out of Reach" report, unsurprisingly, ranked Hawaii the most expensive state in the nation for housing. Hawaii has topped the ranking for years.

But it also singled out the islands as the state with the biggest disparity between the average wage for renters and what they actually need to be able to earn for a two-bedroom.

In Hawaii, about 43 percent of households rent, and the average hourly wage of renters is $14.53 an hour.

The difference between what renters earn on average and what they need to earn for a two-bedroom, then, equates to about $20 an hour, the report said.

The fair market rent in Hawaii for a two-bedroom was $1,780 in 2015.

California, where someone would need to earn $28.59 an hour to afford a modest two-bedroom, is the second-priciest state in the nation for housing. New York rounded out the top three.

The study’s hourly “housing wage” estimates are calculated based on renters spending no more than 30 percent of their income on the roof over their heads. But study authors acknowledged that few renters actually do that.

Nationally, the report found that a full-time worker needs to earn $20.30 an hour to afford a two-bedroom. That’s almost $5 more than the average hourly wage for renters.

The study estimated that Hawaii renters would need to have 2.4 jobs just to be able to afford a modest two-bedroom at that price. (Minimum wage earners would need to have four jobs.)

Oahu has the priciest housing, according to the study. The average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom is $38.17. On the Neighbor Islands, the housing wage hovered around $22 to $24 an hour.

Worth noting: The report’s authors said housing wasn’t affordable for full-time workers earning the minimum wage in any state, metropolitan area or county.

“Tackling our affordability crisis isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also one of the best ways we can invest in our nation’s long term growth and competitiveness,” wrote Julian Castro, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the report’s preface.

“This report confirms that investing in affordable housing … is one of the most important steps we can take to help people succeed today, and live healthier lives long into the future.”

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