Stimulus Checks and Housing: How Far $1,200 Goes for Homeowners and Renters Across the US

Two-thirds of homeowners in Indianapolis could cover most or all of their monthly mortgage payment with a stimulus check, compared with just 8% in San Francisco.

The White House recently signed into law a $ 2 trillion economic relief package to aid businesses and individuals impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The stimulus bill, known as the CARES Act, will provide checks for as much as $ 1,200 to millions of Americans, many of whom will use the money to pay their mortgages or rent. It supplements other measures taken by the federal government, including a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for many homeowners and renters, as well as a mortgage forbearance program.

More than three-quarters of U.S. renters could pay one month’s worth of housing expenses with $ 1,200, compared with nearly half of homeowners, according to data compiled by Redfin. Of course, the stimulus checks will only go so far, as many Americans have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and are unsure when they will be able to get back to work.

Below is a list of the 50 largest metropolitan areas, ranked by the percentage of homeowners who could cover most or all of their one-month mortgage payment, plus basic utility costs, with $ 1,200. Some households will receive more than one check, so we also calculated the share of homeowners in each metro who could pay for most or all of a one-month mortgage payment and utilities with two checks, or $ 2,400. Scroll down to see the same analysis for renters.

How Far Government Stimulus Checks Will Go for Homeowners in the 50 Largest U.S. Metros

Rank Metro Area Median Monthly Mortgage Payment Share of Homeowners Who Could Cover Most or All of Monthly Mortgage and Utilities With $ 1,200* Share of Homeowners Who Could Cover Most or All of Monthly Mortgage and Utilities With $ 2,400**
National – U.S.A. $ 1,566 47% 80%
1 Indianapolis, IN $ 1,254 66% 92%
2 Louisville, KY $ 1,261 65% 92%
3 Birmingham, AL $ 1,280 65% 91%
4 Memphis, TN $ 1,286 64% 92%
5 Buffalo, NY $ 1,314 63% 92%
6 Oklahoma City, OK $ 1,330 62% 90%
7 Pittsburgh, PA $ 1,315 61% 90%
8 Cleveland, OH $ 1,331 61% 91%
9 Cincinnati, OH $ 1,367 59% 91%
10 Charlotte, NC $ 1,381 57% 88%
11 St. Louis, MO $ 1,398 57% 89%
12 Jacksonville, FL $ 1,404 57% 88%
13 Detroit, MI $ 1,407 56% 89%
14 Tampa, FL $ 1,416 55% 87%
15 New Orleans, LA $ 1,439 54% 88%
16 Columbus, OH $ 1,460 53% 87%
17 Nashville, TN $ 1,460 53% 87%
18 Kansas City, MO $ 1,474 52% 88%
19 San Antonio, TX $ 1,486 51% 87%
20 Phoenix, AZ $ 1,492 51% 87%
21 Orlando, FL $ 1,495 50% 87%
22 Richmond, VA $ 1,507 50% 87%
23 Atlanta, GA $ 1,520 49% 84%
24 Raleigh, NC $ 1,530 49% 85%
25 Las Vegas, NV $ 1,529 48% 89%
26 Milwaukee, WI $ 1,551 47% 87%
27 Salt Lake City, UT $ 1,603 42% 87%
28 Virginia Beach, VA $ 1,659 40% 85%
29 Minneapolis, MN $ 1,706 37% 82%
30 Houston, TX $ 1,727 36% 77%
31 Dallas, TX $ 1,779 36% 76%
32 Miami, FL $ 1,810 35% 75%
33 Philadelphia, PA $ 1,829 33% 76%
34 Chicago, IL $ 1,847 32% 74%
35 Baltimore, MD $ 1,889 30% 73%
36 Riverside, CA $ 1,900 30% 74%
37 Denver, CO $ 1,902 28% 75%
38 Providence, RI $ 1,862 27% 80%
39 Portland, OR $ 1,880 27% 76%
40 Austin, TX $ 1,946 27% 70%
41 Hartford, CT $ 1,911 24% 75%
42 Sacramento, CA $ 2,048 24% 69%
43 Seattle, WA $ 2,257 17% 60%
44 Washington, D.C. $ 2,331 16% 57%
45 Boston, MA $ 2,407 14% 54%
46 San Diego, CA $ 2,573 14% 47%
47 Los Angeles, CA $ 2,573 13% 48%
48 New York, NY $ 2,709 11% 43%
49 San Francisco, CA $ 3,104 8% 33%
50 San Jose, CA $ 3,371 6% 27%
*Represents share of homeowners who have monthly mortgage payments under $ 1,500
**Represents share of homeowners who have monthly mortgage payments between $ 1,500 and $ 2,499

Indianapolis, where the median monthly mortgage payment is $ 1,254, ranked number one. Two-thirds (66%) of homeowners there could cover most or all of their monthly mortgage and utilities with $ 1,200. It was followed by Louisville, KY and Birmingham, AL, both at 65%. On the other end of the spectrum was San Jose, CA, where the median mortgage payment is $ 3,371. Just 6% of homeowners there could cover their monthly costs with a $ 1,200 check—the lowest share of any metro we analyzed. In second-to-last place was San Francisco, at 8%, followed by New York, at 11%.

“In Indianapolis, the overwhelming feeling is that when our local economy does come back, it will come back with a vengeance,” said local Redfin market manager Jake Johnson. “With the cost of living in Indiana already so low, many residents may use the government stimulus to be good neighbors by supporting local businesses, though workers in the hardest-hit industries, such as hospitality, may use it to pay their mortgages.”

How Far Government Stimulus Checks Will Go for Renters in the 50 Largest U.S. Metros

We also gauged how big of an impact the White House’s aid package could have on renters in each of the 50 largest metropolitan areas:

Rank Metro Area Median Monthly Rent Payment Share of Renters Who Could Cover Most or All of Monthly Rent With $ 1,200* Share of Renters Who Could Cover Most or All of Monthly Rent With $ 2,400**
National – U.S.A. $ 1,058 77% 96%
1 Buffalo, NY $ 809 94% 98%
2 Cleveland, OH $ 804 93% 98%
3 St. Louis, MO $ 891 93% 99%
4 Birmingham, AL $ 892 93% 99%
5 Memphis, TN $ 893 93% 99%
6 Louisville, KY $ 850 93% 99%
7 Oklahoma City, OK $ 879 92% 99%
8 Columbus, OH $ 947 92% 99%
9 Cincinnati, OH $ 850 91% 98%
10 Milwaukee, WI $ 884 91% 99%
11 Indianapolis, IN $ 907 91% 99%
12 Pittsburgh, PA $ 832 91% 98%
13 Detroit, MI $ 927 90% 98%
14 New Orleans, LA $ 977 90% 99%
15 Kansas City, MO $ 968 89% 99%
16 Providence, RI $ 956 87% 98%
17 San Antonio, TX $ 1,002 86% 99%
18 Charlotte, NC $ 1,042 85% 99%
19 Jacksonville, FL $ 1,082 84% 98%
20 Richmond, VA $ 1,100 82% 98%
21 Raleigh, NC $ 1,128 81% 98%
22 Nashville, TN $ 1,081 81% 98%
23 Las Vegas, NV $ 1,130 81% 99%
24 Hartford, CT $ 1,111 81% 98%
25 Tampa, FL $ 1,128 80% 98%
26 Houston, TX $ 1,094 80% 98%
27 Phoenix, AZ $ 1,117 79% 98%
28 Salt Lake City, UT $ 1,133 79% 99%
29 Minneapolis, MN $ 1,090 79% 98%
30 Atlanta, GA $ 1,169 79% 98%
31 Virginia Beach, VA $ 1,146 78% 98%
32 Dallas, TX $ 1,152 77% 98%
33 Philadelphia, PA $ 1,134 77% 97%
34 Chicago, IL $ 1,110 76% 96%
35 Orlando, FL $ 1,217 75% 98%
36 Portland, OR $ 1,323 67% 97%
37 Baltimore, MD $ 1,265 67% 96%
38 Austin, TX $ 1,307 66% 96%
39 Sacramento, CA $ 1,332 63% 96%
40 Riverside, CA $ 1,321 63% 96%
41 Miami, FL $ 1,360 62% 95%
42 Denver, CO $ 1,388 60% 96%
43 New York, NY $ 1,434 55% 88%
44 Boston, MA $ 1,501 51% 88%
45 Los Angeles, CA $ 1,565 48% 87%
46 Seattle, WA $ 1,563 47% 90%
47 San Diego, CA $ 1,668 42% 86%
48 Washington, D.C. $ 1,670 40% 88%
49 San Francisco, CA $ 1,944 32% 71%
50 San Jose, CA $ 2,283 22% 60%
*Represents share of renters who have monthly rent payments under $ 1,500
**Represents share of renters who have monthly rent payments between $ 1,500 and $ 2,499

With median rent at $ 809 a month, Buffalo, NY came in first place. Nearly all renters there (94%) could cover a month’s rent with $ 1,200. Cleveland and St. Louis, both at 93%, rounded out the top three. The metros where $ 1,200 would cover monthly costs for the lowest share of renters were San Jose (22%), San Francisco (32%) and Washington, D.C. (40%).

In every metro area, there was a higher portion of renters than homeowners that could cover monthly costs with $ 1,200, as rent is typically less expensive than a mortgage. In Seattle, for example, $ 1,200 would cover one month’s rent for almost half of all renters, while it would only cover a month’s mortgage for 17% of homeowners. Providence, RI showed the largest disparity, with 87% of renters who could cover monthly costs using $ 1,200, compared with less than one-third of homeowners. The metro with the smallest disparity was San Jose, where 22% of renters could cover monthly costs with one check, compared with 6% of homeowners.


Methodology

The rankings for this report were determined by applying median monthly mortgage and rental payment estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey to each of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. This analysis does not include the $ 500 stimulus payments some parents may receive for qualifying children.

The post Stimulus Checks and Housing: How Far $ 1,200 Goes for Homeowners and Renters Across the US appeared first on Redfin | Real Estate Tips for Home Buying, Selling & More.

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