New Report Shows Maui Residents Must Work 56.6 Hours Per Week to Afford Rent

Hawaiʻi residents must work 59 hours per week to afford rent of a single bedroom dwelling, according to a new report by Self Financial.  To afford a two bedroom unit, residents of Hawaiʻi must work more than 77 hours to afford rent, the study notes.

The study analyzed the median cost of rent in each state, as well as the median hourly wage to determine the locations where it is toughest to make rent in the country.

Maui’s Lahaina/Kahului/Wailuku area (which was lumped into one district), was identified as the third most unaffordable small metro area for renters in the US (behind Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA at #1; and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA at #2).  The report notes that those on Maui, must work 56.6 hours per week to afford a single bedroom unit.

Urban Honolulu was ranked fourth on the most unaffordable list for midsize metro areas (behind Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA at #1; Salinas, CA at #2, and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA at #3).

Topping the list for the most unaffordable large metro area for renters was San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA at #1; followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA at #2; and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim at #3.

Fair market rent for a one bedroom in Hawaiʻi was listed at more than $1500, and a two bedroom was just under $2,000; while the median wage in Hawaiʻi was around $44,000 per year.

New data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development reported fair market rents in the nation to be approximately $980 for a one-bedroom and $1,200 for a two-bedroom rental in 2020. Meanwhile, the most recent median hourly wage estimate from the BLS is $19.14 (compared to $21.35 in Hawaiʻi).

The full report by Jeff Smith at Self Financial is available here.

*Note: Self is a venture-backed startup that helps people build credit and savings.

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