Study: You Need to Earn $121K to Comfortably Afford a Two-Bedroom in Boston

Only San Francisco, NYC, and LA are pricier.

Boston is among the hottest rental markets in America for two-bedroom apartments, according to a new study.

In order to “comfortably afford” a two-bedroom apartment in Boston, which averages $2,821 a month, you must make at least $120,900. According to the latest Census data, 70 percent of the city’s residents make $100,000 or less, while Boston’s per capita income is $36,395.

This places Boston in fourth among the 15 major U.S. cities studied by SmartAsset, a New York-based financial technology company. The only cities in which you must earn even more to afford a two-bedroom pad are San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.

To determine the salary needed to “comfortably afford” a two-bedroom unit, SmartAsset took the definition of affordable housing used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—that is, 30 percent of income—and shaved it down to 28 percent. Out of the 15 major cities analyzed, just three saw average rental rates for two-bedroom apartments fall between 2015 and 2016

The study also compares Boston’s sky-high housing costs to those in Lowell, where you must earn just over $59,000 to comfortably afford a two-bedroom apartment, and Cambridge, where two-bedroom rents are 7.4 percent higher.

You can check out the full study here.