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U.S. employees are fighting against return-to-office policies, with the majority of workers saying they are willing to switch jobs if it means they won’t have to commute. According to a survey by Bankrate last month, an overwhelming 89% of workers say they want to exchange working in the office for a fully remote or hybrid work schedule.
“Whether currently working or aspiring to work, now that people have seen or experienced changes forced by the pandemic, there’s no putting that proverbial genie back in the bottle,” Mark Hamrich, a Bankrate financial analyst said in a statement. “At the same time, employers must adapt to these shifts while striving for success and greater productivity. Otherwise, many of their employees are going to seek work elsewhere.”
Remote work allowed people to move outside major expensive cities like New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Denver and relocate to areas with a more attractive lifestyle or less populated rural areas that offer more affordable housing.
New data released by the United States Census Bureau reveals which metro areas boast the most affordable rent, with residents paying less than 30% of their income to keep a roof over their heads. New York City is ranked as having some of the highest rents in the country, with roughly 47% of residents reported as paying affordable rental prices.
According to the bureau’s report, the median rental price in the U.S. is still over $2,000 per month, while Redfin reported earlier this month that the median rent increased by 4.6% in the Midwest from August 2022 to August 2023. During the same period, rent rose by 1.2% in the Northeast.
However, perhaps unsurprisingly, areas like Montana and Wisconsin are reported to offer more affordable rent. The top 10 list also reveals that the majority of the listed metro areas have 63% or more affordable rent, which is defined as locations where residents pay less than 30% of their income on rent.
These are the top 10 cheapest areas to rent in the U.S.