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Boston tenants can comfortably lease 266 square feet on city’s median income: Report

Anything bigger and tenants risk becoming rent-burdened

A row of three-story apartment buildings in Boston. Shutterstock

Tenants in Boston earning the city’s median monthly renter household income can lease up to just 266 square feet before becoming rent-burdened—or spending more than 30 percent a month on rent.

That is according to a new study from listings and research site RENTCafe, which tracked household incomes and apartment sizes in buildings with at least 50 units in the 100 most populous U.S. cities. The site used inflation-adjusted census data from 2017 to come up with a median renter household income in Boston of $3,622.

Only in Brooklyn did the median wage command less space—and only barely so. Brooklyn tenants earning that New York City borough’s median monthly renter household income are able to lease 265 square feet before becoming rent-burdened.

Manhattan (290 square feet), Philadelphia (368), and Chicago (370) were among other bigger U.S. cities where the median wage does not get tenants all that much space.

The RENTCafe report is, of course, yet another in a long litany of analyses that shows just how pricey the Boston (and Boston-area) rental market is compared with other places.