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What Things Cost: Housing Part 3 (Detroit to Columbus)

Today we’re visiting 18 cities, from Detroit, Michigan to Columbus, Ohio.  The list runs the gamut from one of the American cities struggling the hardest to stay afloat during the extended economic crisis, Detroit, to one of the most affluent, New York City.  The differences are sobering.

Detroit, Michigan

Population: 910,920

Median Income: $26,098

Median Monthly Income: $2,175

Average Home Price: $67,000

Average Rent: $749

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income: 34%

 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Population: 385,542

Median Income: $45,538

Median Monthly Income: $3,795

Average Home Price: $220,900

Average Rent: $776

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income: 20%

 

Jackson, Mississippi

Population: 175,021

Median Income: $31,875

Median Monthly Income: $2,656

Average Home Price: $93,700

Average Rent: $715

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income: 27%

 

St. Louis, Missouri

Population: 356,587

Median Income: $34,801

Median Monthly Income: $2,900

Average Home Price: $121,300

Average Rent: $655

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income: 23%

 

Helena, Montana

Population: 29,939

Median Income: $46,313

Median Monthly Income: $3,859

Average Home Price: $189,895

Average Rent: $622

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income: 16%

 

Lincoln, Nebraska

Population: 254,001

Median Income: $44,702

Median Monthly Income: $3,725

Average Home Price: $139,000

Average Rent: $663

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income: 18%

 

Las Vegas, Nevada

Population: 567641

Median Income: $50,935

Median Monthly Income: $4,245

Average Home Price: $197,000

Average Rent: $1,025

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income: 24%

 

Manchester, New Hampshire

Population: 109,395

Median Income: $48,720

Median Monthly Income: $4,060

Average Home Price: $230,900

Average Rent: $936

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income: 23%

 

Newark, New Jersey

Population: 278,154

Median Income: $35,963

Median Monthly Income: $2,997

Average Home Price: $288,500

Average Rent: $938

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income: 31%

 

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Population: 73,720

Median Income: $52,045

Median Monthly Income: $4,337

Average Home Price: $306,400

Average Rent: $871

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income:  20%

 

Buffalo, New York

Population: 270,240

Median Income: $29,285

Median Monthly Income: $2,440

Average Home Price: $66,200

Average Rent: $645

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income:  26%

 

New York, New York

Population: 8,391,881

Bronx: 1,383,871

Brooklyn: 2,538,705

Manhattan: 1,621,897

Queens: 2,277,251

 

Median Income: $50,033

Bronx: $32,893

Brooklyn: $43,166

Manhattan: $68,706

Queens: $55,120

 

Median Monthly Income: $4,169

Bronx: $2,741

Brooklyn: $3,597

Manhattan: $5,726

Queens: $4,593

 

Average Home Price: $517,900

Bronx: $393,600

Brooklyn: $570,300

Manhattan: $849,000

Queens: $475,600

 

Average Rent: $1,086

Bronx: $875

Brooklyn: $949

Manhattan: $1,124

Queens: $1,094

 

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income:  26%

Bronx: 32%

Brooklyn: 26%

Manhattan: 20%

Queens: 24%

 

 

Charlotte, North Carolina

Population: 709,441

Median Income: $49,779

Median Monthly Income: $4,148

Average Home Price: $175,600

Average Rent: $811

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income:  20%

 

Fargo, North Dakota

Population: 95,556

Median Income: $38,212

Median Monthly Income: $3,184

Average Home Price: $147,400

Average Rent: $600

Average Rent Divided by Median Monthly Income:  19%

 

Columbus, Ohio

Population: 769,360

Median Income: $41,370

Median Monthly Income: $3,448

Average Home Price: $138,200

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

4 replies on “What Things Cost: Housing Part 3 (Detroit to Columbus)”

Partly, yes. When Bethlehem Steel closed in the early 1980s, it was devastating to the region and the local economy. So when the rest of the country was enjoying a boom in the ’90s, well, we didn’t really get that. We were still struggling to get back on our feet.

The one thing about being a rust belt city that has saved us in recent years was, funnily enough, that we didn’t have a huge boom. Looking at the recent housing crisis, Buffalo emerged (relatively) unscathed mostly because we never had the soaring home prices and rapidly bubbling economy prior to that. (We’ve had a vacancy problem for a long time, but it has gotten demonstrably better because we were already working on things like land banking, green demolition, anti-flipping, a killer housing court, etc.) We’ve got a shitty job market and high unemployment, but the region hasn’t been hit as hard as most because there was already a shitty job market and high unemployment for the two decades before that.

The region is slowly growing, still trying to find a replacement for manufacturing but making some real strides in high-tech biomedical sciences. For the first time in literally lifetimes, we’re actually getting somewhere in developing our waterfront. Things are looking up for Buffalo.

I will say that the median house price and rent price seem a bit on the low side. Not that you can’t find homes for those amounts, but an apartment in a neighborhood I’d actually want to live in will probably run you in the vicinity of $800/month for a two or three bedroom. (We don’t have a lot of apartment complexes, hence not a lot of singles. Many apartments are in converted Victorian houses or two-family homes. I’ve had both “upper” and “rear” in my address many a time, and that’s incredibly common.)

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