Cary, Raleigh among least housing cost-burdened cities, study says

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CARY – In good news for the Triangle’s ability to attract Amazon’s HQ2 or an Apple corporate site, Cary is the least housing cost-burdened of 167 cities in a study by SmartAsset. Raleigh came in at number 5 on the least housing cost-burdened top ten list.

The study is another sign of housing affordability in the Triangle that could bode well for its acquisition of Apple and Amazon HQ2 projects.

Only 5 percent of Cary homeowners are severely housing cost-burdened, meaning they spend 50 percent or more of their income on housing. In Raleigh, the study reports, only 5.5 percent are in the severely cost-burdened category.

“Cary homeowners have done such a good job finding affordable housing that less than 15 percent spend over 30 percent of their income on housing,” the SmartAsset report states. That, it says, “Makes them some of the most financially flexible in the nation.”

In Raleigh, 5.5 percent rank as severely cost-burdened, while a further 11 percent spend between 30 percent and 50 percent of their income on housing. So, roughly 16.4 percent of households here are housing cost-burdened, which puts it in line with Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, number 3 on the least-burdened list.

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Apple is reportedly considering an investment of $1.5 billion to $2 billion in North Carolina, including a Triangle campus that would have between 3,000 and 10,000 jobs.

A recent study by ATTOM Data Solutions said an influx of Apple workers would drive up already rising housing costs in the Triangle, where home prices and rents have been rising.

Quarterly median home prices are up across the Triangle, from 6 percent in Raleigh to 13 percent in Durham to 11 percent in Wake Forest.

Online residential real estate site Trulia lists 2,700 single-family homes on the market in the area, with new housing starts up 26 percent.

Another recent study by ATTOM ranked Raleigh No. 1 among the sites being considered for the Amazon HQ2 project when it comes to housing and quality of life.

Cary was followed by Lincoln, Nebraska; Broken Arrow; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Raleigh; Overland Park, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; Livonia, Michigan; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Madison, Wisconsin in the top ten least housing cost-burdened cities list.

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Newark, New Jersey, topped the most housing cost-burdened cities, with a whopping 26 percent of households paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing and another 21 percent spending between 30 percent and 50 percent.

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The report notes “There has been little improvement in the cities who ranked in the top 10 in the study” the last time SmartAsset conducted the analysis. Florida is the most burdened with four cities in the top 10.

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