New teachers will find the typical rent unaffordable in 49 of the 50 largest metro areas in the United States, according to new analysis from Zillow.
- The median-market-rate rent payment would take 46.8 percent of a typical starting teacher’s salary, 35.6 percent of a mid-career teacher’s salary and 26.6 percent of the highest-paid teacher’s salary.
- Pittsburgh is the only large U.S. metro where market-rate-rent prices are affordable for entry-level teachers.
- Mortgage payments are relatively more affordable, taking 26.6 percent of a typical starting teacher’s salary – assuming a 20 percent down payment.
“Most acknowledge that building more homes is required to address the root cause of eroding housing affordability,” said Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s director of economic research, in the release.
“Without that new influx to take the pressure off rent and aggressive home value growth, it’s the public servants, like teachers, firefighters, and nurses – the professions that keep us safe, our kids smart, and our families healthy – that often feel the pinch most. So don’t think of housing affordability policies as a choice between change and the status quo. Crowded, job-rich communities will change — and it will be either the buildings that change or the mix of people who can afford to live in them,” Olsen said.
It is not only the most expensive markets where teachers are cost burdened. New teachers spend more than half of their income on market-rate rent in some broadly affordable metros, such as Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Raleigh.
Of the 50 largest metro areas, only Pittsburgh offers affordable rent for starting teachers. And even the highest-paid teachers would find the typical rental affordable in just over half of large metros.
Teachers who own a home are in a better position, due in part to the benefit of low mortgage interest rates and decades-long terms that lock in payments even as home prices rise, the Zillow report said.