New study claims College Station is the least affordable city in the country

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - According to a recent Bloomberg study, College Station ranks as the number one least affordable place to live based on the percentage of household income going to monthly rent costs.

They base their findings off of median rent, as well as how much of the household's income goes into rent every month. The data is from the years 2012 through 2016, and only U.S. cities towns and places with more than 60,000 people.

According to Bloomberg, College Station's median rent is $904, and the median gross rent as a percentage of the household's income is 46%.

But local experts are skeptical of these numbers.

"College Station is the worst at nothing," says local realtor Cherry Ruffino. "When you have a town, a college town, with some 63,000 students that work little or not at all. That is definitely going to skew the numbers."

"A lot of the communities that were listed were university towns, and college towns," argues Jim Gaines, Chief Economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.

He agrees with Ruffino, and believes students either bring low or non existent incomes to the study.

Other college towns found their way towards the top of the list as well, including Auburn in Alabama, Iowa City in Iowa, and Bloomington in Indiana.

However, Gaines says there could be another reason why the rent remains so high.

"The construction costs," points out Gaines. "The higher development costs require higher rents, in order to make the projects economically feasible."

Both Gaines and Ruffino believe there are too many housing and apartment rentals in College Station for the demand. Some even theorize that the open rentals could lead to decreasing costs.

However, Gaines and Ruffino aren't as optimistic.

"Does this mean our rental rates will go down? I don't think so," says Ruffino. "I don't think so at all, but we may level off."

"Sometimes the landlords are a little slow in lowering the rent," says Gaines. "What they would rather do is give something in concessions like free rent for a month."