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Report: Chicago families need to earn $90K to afford average two-bedroom rent

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A new report suggests that the average monthly rent for a Chicago two-bedroom apartment has increased to $2,254

Curbed Chicago Flickr pool/Milosh Kosanovich

Thousands of new apartments are being delivered this year in Chicago, but how much does one need to earn to afford rent in the Windy City? While Chicago ranks much lower than the country’s most expensive cities—like San Francisco and New York—Chicago rents are still much higher than those in other midwestern cities. According to a new report from SmartAsset, an online homebuyer research and resource center, Chicago families need to be earning roughly $90,000 per year to afford the average rent price for a two-bedroom apartment without being cost-burdened (renters who are paying more than 30% of their income on rent).

According to the report, which is based on numbers crunched by the rental search site and property management tool RentCafe, the average two-bedroom apartment in Chicago costs $2,254 per month. According to the figure, Chicago is ranked as the country’s sixth most expensive market for two-bedroom apartments. Surprisingly, SmartAsset’s report places Chicago above cities like Seattle and Miami—two cities which in recent years have experienced major increases in demand for rental housing.

Last year’s report from SmartAsset suggested that Chicagoans needed to earn just over $75,000 annually to cover the rent of a two-bedroom apartment. The figure was the same in SmartAsset’s 2015 report. However, other recent reports suggest that Chicago still falls in the middle of the pack in terms of rent affordability in major US cities. The picture looks slightly different for those looking to buy a house and pay a mortgage however. A report published last year by HSH Associates suggested that Chicagoans needed to earn a $60,000 salary to afford a house or condo.

There are a handful of other major cities where it’s going to cost much more to rent a two-bedroom apartments. According to the report, cities like Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and Boston are all pricier than Chicago, but not much more. However, San Francisco and New York are dramatically more expensive with the average cost of two-bedroom apartments coming in at $4,189 and $3,841 respectively.