With the Westchester rental vacancy rate resting at 4.6% in 2013, and 39% of Westchester residents choosing to rent in 2017, rent demand, and consequently cost, continue to rise. This climb is unsurprisingly leading to a growing gap between what renters can afford, considered to be 30% of their income, and what they have to pay, on average. At this moment, to afford a Fair Market two-bedroom rental, a Westchester resident would have to make an hourly wage of $32.81, instead of the actual Westchester renter hourly wage mean of $18.25. This discrepancy means the average tenant would have to work a 72-hour workweek just to properly afford their rent. And it’s getting worse. There was a 29.6%, or $173, increase in the monthly rent gap in Westchester just between 2016 and 2017. The chart below highlights this troubling — and worsening — trend.
* Represents a monthly rent based on the 30% of the mean hourly wage within the county.