NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville’s cost of living now outpaces Atlanta and Minneapolis, according to a new report.

Homeownership isn’t for everyone, but with rent rising, year over year, at what point is it more reasonable to buy?

Jeff Checko, a re-location director at REMAX Advantage, knows many Nashvillians are currently struggling to pay rent.

“I think people of a certain income are going to continue having a harder and harder time living in the urban core,” Checko said.

According to the Greater Nashville Apartment Association, or GNAA, the average rent in greater Nashville is $1,200. Dickson County is on the low end of the spectrum at $926 and downtown is the highest at nearly $1,900.

According to a study by GOBankingRates, Nashville residents need to make $85,000 a year to live comfortably in the city — yet, according to Zillow, the average salary is just a little over $38,000.

Breaking down rent by location, these are the average rents in the greater Nashville area, according to GNAA:

Data shows from 2018-2019 rent increased in all 20 submarkets except for Green Hills.

Checko says prices could be worse. “We may be creeping up to Chicago but were not even close to NYC or San Fransisco,” Checko said. “Through that lens were still affordable.”

Area experts note the Nashville apartment market has been extremely resilient as rent demand keeps up with the historic delivery of new apartments.

“I think people of a certain income are going to continue having a harder and harder time living in the urban core.”

Jeff Checko, REMAX Advantage re-location director

The GNAA reports 11,366 units are currently under construction in the greater Nashville area.

Through the 2nd quarter, 3,323 new apartment units were completed and ready for new residents. Overall occupancy was just over 93 percent.

“Nashville has delivered quite a bit when it comes to units but studies show that the demand is not where it’s going to be five to ten years from now,” Checko said, adding for those looking into the future, buying a home is a far better option than paying high rent.

“With interest rates as low as they are you absolutely can purchase something for as much as it costs to rent, you may not have the exact same geographical advantage but if you’re trying to be smart minded and do the smart thing financially ownership is the thing to do in our town.” 

News 2 is reporting on Nashville’s historic growth and the growing pains that come with it. Click here for more Nashville 2019 reports.