Chart of the Day: Saint Paul Average Rent by Unit Size

Here’s a info-packed chart from Saint Paul’s latest Marketwatch report — this one subtitled “Trends in the unsubsidized multifamily rental market” — showing average rents for different apartments of different sizes, along with the 60% AMI level for the city.


Stp Average Rent Chart

The full document, available here, has a lot more charts about the state of the housing market in Saint Paul these days.

Here’s the description of the chart:

From 2010 to April 2018, average rent rose 16% in Saint Paul to $1,075. While this is still lower than the average for the 7-county metro ($1,197 as of April 2018), for low- and moderate-income renters, this increase is significant.

By traditional measures, rent is considered affordable when a household spends no more than 30% of its income on housing. At first glance, Saint Paul rental homes appear to be attainable to many families in need of affordable housing — based on area median income (AMI)5. As shown in the chart below, for households earning 60% of AMI the average rent in Saint Paul

5- Area median income is calculated for the 13-county HUD Metro MN-WI area of Minneapolis- St Paul- Bloomington.

is within reach. Even a two-bedroom apartment is just $29 per month beyond what a four-person household earning $51,480 annually (60% AMI) can afford.

However, when measured against the city median income (CMI) rather than the regional median income, that affordability evaporates. Again, as shown in the chart below, the average one-bedroom rents for $262 more per month than a household earning 60% of CMI can afford. The average two-bedroom is also far out of reach, with the average rent $385 more per month than a household earning 60% of CMI can afford.

As shown here, many rents are out of reach for people making below average incomes, at least at the city level.  Finally, here’s another chart ripped from the report, showing increase or decrease of rents for different parts of the city.

Stp Rent Increase Chart

Honestly, many of these numbers are lower than I would have thought given how tight the rental market has become in the city. Some of them, however, show large increases.

And keep in mind that these numbers do not account for new units constructed in Saint Paul, if there were any. For example, there have been hundreds of new housing units added to areas like Downtown, West 7th, or Union Park which would affect average rents by adding units at the high end, but fewer examples of new construction in neighborhoods like Como or Highland.


3 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Saint Paul Average Rent by Unit Size

  1. Janne

    Bill, I want to make sure I understand what you’re saying in that last paragraph. I think you have two points.

    First, some of the average rent increases in places that have seen a lot of construction can be attributed to the new units — because it costs a lot to build things, they are almost always more expensive and will bring up the average. That would be in Downtown, West 7th, and Union Park.

    Second, the average rent increases in places that have NOT seen a lot of construction can be attributed to the fact that more people want to live there than there are places to live, and older apartment rents are going up, like in Highland and Como.

    Did I get that right?

  2. Matt L

    This is conveniently the time period from when my company started a program for disabled homeless adults until now. From 2010-2018 the total allowed subsidy, intended to cover rent, utilities, and phone (and hopefully whatever else they can’t get with SNAP and $99 of personal needs money) has gone from $846 to $904, a $58 increase. Meanwhile rents for studies and 1BR apts have gone up $150 and $130 respectively. To say it’s gotten tough out there is an understatement.

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