Report details salaries needed to rent alone in the Bay Area, state

Mark Prado

There are 17 million people in the U.S. who rent by themselves, the fastest-growing trend when it comes to living arrangements, according to a report released by Rent Cafe

But renting alone comes at a premium, especially in California cities: 10 of the nation’s top 20 metros where it’s most costly to rent alone are located in the the state.

In the Bay Area, San Jose and San Francisco have the biggest salary gaps nationwide between renters living alone and those that choose to live with others, but one Bay Area city is an exception in the salary difference. 

According to the report, in the Bay Area:

In San Jose, solo renters here earn $93,288 per year, which translates into a monthly income gap of $2,448 (the biggest in the state and in the country) compared to renters who cohabitate. Lone renters make up 9.3% of San Jose’s renter population.

In pricey San Francisco, solo renters have a higher income than other renters. On average, they earn $76,329 per year, which translates into a monthly income gap of $1,427. This is the sixth biggest income gap in the country between solo renters and those who don't live alone. Those living alone make up 13.5% of San Francisco’s population of renters.

But in Vallejo, where solo renters represent 9.7% of the area’s renter population, the average income of a lone renter is $44,583 per year. That's a monthly income gap of $702 compared to renters sharing their space with someone else. That is the lowest income gap in the state.

On average, solo renters in Santa Rosa have an annual income of $52,197, which translates into a monthly income gap of $957 between them and regular renters. Those renting alone represent 12.8% of the area’s population of renters and they come from a predominantly older demographic. 

When looking at the top 20 metros around the nation, those who live alone are in their 50s or early 60s, and have enough income to go it alone when renting, according to the report.

Solo rent chart

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