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Durham-Chapel Hill tops ranking of best rental markets for healthcare professionals

More than 99 jobs out of every 1,000 in the Durham-Chapel Hill area are in healthcare.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Chapel Hill, North Carolina.Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

For healthcare professionals seeking a good place to rent an apartment, there's no place better than Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina. That's according to ADOBO, which analyzed 76 metropolitan statistical areas for healthcare job density, median salary in those positions and median one-bedroom rent prices.

Durham-Chapel Hill stood above the rest largely because it's located right in the middle of what's known as "The Research Triangle." The triangle is home to three universities -- Duke, University of North Carolina and North Carolina State -- plus one of the country's largest research centers and UNC Health Care. More than 99 jobs out of every 1,000 are in healthcare. Monthly rent for a one-bedroom unit averages $1,135, with the median healthcare salary at $60,800.

[Also: Healthcare adds 37,000 jobs in January, though laboratory workforce shrinks]

When it comes to income-to-rent ratio, different metro areas excel. Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Michigan, where median monthly income for healthcare professionals is 9.7 times the median monthly rent of $550, leads the way, followed by Toledo, Ohio (9.5 times); Reno, Nevada (8.9 times); and Bakersfield, California (8.8 times). Four more metro areas show a ratio of over eight-to-one, but the only one other than Toledo to also show a concentration of healthcare jobs of over 70 per 1,000 is another Ohio metro area, Cleveland-Elyria.

To show which areas enjoy the best of both worlds, ADOBO created a ranking, with employment-weighted 75 percent and the income-to-rent ratio 25 percent. Durham-Chapel Hill once again leads the list, its moderately high median rent balanced by its dense job concentration. The rest of the top 10 include Toledo, Ohio; Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Lubbock, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky; and Tucson, Arizona.

Many of these areas are in the Midwest and South, where rents are generally lower than on the coasts, and where midsize city economies are more easily dominated by healthcare systems than are the larger, more diversified cities on the coasts.

In fact, the bottom 10 scores show a lot of coastal metropolises: New York-Jersey City-White Plains, New York; Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland; and six California metro areas. San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California owns the worst score, with the highest median rent ($3,499) and lowest healthcare job concentration (35.9 per 1,000) of any city on the list.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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