Discover Top 10 U.S Cities Where Costs Skyrocket Past Middle-class Budgets


The biggest weekly cost for many Americans is their home, and the cost of housing keeps going up every year. Middle-class people living in expensive places are finding it harder and harder to either own a home or rent one. This is because a big chunk of their income goes toward housing costs, which keeps them from getting ahead financially.

The Census says that middle-class families make between $50,000 and $150,000 a year. The U.S. Department of Living and Urban Development says that when living costs more than 30% of a family’s income, it makes it much harder to pay for things like food, transportation, and medical care.

This can happen to anyone. However, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University has found 20 places where housing costs are the most difficult for people. A lot of people there spend more than half of their pay on housing, which is not possible for most middle-class families.

1. Truckee-Grass Valley, California

Nearly 20% of people in Truckee-Grass Valley have very high costs, and 36.2% have high costs. The average monthly rent for these people is $1,844, and their average family income is $91,300.

2. Kapaa, Hawaii

In Kapaa, 31.5% of owner-occupied homes have high costs, and 19.5% have very high costs. On average, owners make $89,000 a year, which means they pay $1,660 a month for their homes.

3. California’s Merced

In Merced, 37.7% of owner-occupied homes have high costs, and 19.4% have very high costs. They pay $1,258 a month for their home, even though the usual owner household income is $72,000.

4. Arroyo Grande,  California

In San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, 33.9% of owner-occupied homes have high costs, and 18.7% have very high costs. While the median owner’s family income is $97,400, the median owner’s monthly housing cost of $1,820 doesn’t make that a comfortable amount of money to live on.

5. West Virginia’s Logan, West

Logan’s owner’s median income is $37,300, which is less than the other cities on the list. The median monthly cost of living for an owner in Logan is $446. To help a middle-class family do well, it’s all about the percentages. In this case, 18.4% of owner-occupied homes have very high costs.

6. Palm Beach, Florida

In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area in southeast Florida, 34.5% of owner-occupied households are cost-burdened and 18.4% are seriously cost-burdened. Owners make an average of $78,000 a year, and their homes cost an average of $1,393 a month.

7. Key West, Florida

The median monthly cost of housing for an owner in Key West is $1,240. This is too much for an owner with a median income of $75,000, so 33.6% of owner households are cost-burdened and 18.3% are seriously cost-burdened.

8. Sonora,  California

Costs are too high for 40.2% of owner-occupied homes in Sonora, which is east of San Francisco, and they’re very high for 17.6% of those homes. Given that the average owner makes $74,100 a year, the $1,313 a month rent doesn’t give much room for savings.

9. Anaheim, California

Owners in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Anaheim make an average of $110,900 a year, but their homes cost an average of $2,150 a month. That means 34.2% of owner-occupied homes are having a hard time paying their bills, and 17.4% are having a very hard time.

10. Iowa City, Burlington

In this town on the Mississippi River, 64% of renter families are having a hard time paying their bills, and 46.9% are having a very hard time. The average renter’s income of $18,000 a month is not enough to cover the $754 a month rent.


In the end, rising housing costs in several locations in the United States pose a big barrier to middle-class families. As housing costs absorb a larger amount of household income, people find it more difficult to allocate funds for necessities such as food, transportation, and healthcare. Urgent attention and comprehensive solutions are required to solve this serious issue while ensuring financial stability for everybody.

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