Lisbon has the Most Unaffordable Rent in Europe (Europe Salary to Rent Ratio 2023)

Europe Salary to Rent Ratio 2023: Discover what are the most affordable, and most unaffordable cities to rent in Europe, considering local salaries in 2023

If you live in Europe in 2023 you probably know that rents in Europe are not getting cheap. This applies to most capitals in the European continent. Inflation, war, frequent extreme climate events are some of the main influencing rent prices all across the continent. Other factors such as immigration to the old continent and the short term rental boom are also pushing rent prices up in most European capitals.

Discover below, if your city is among the most affordable, or most unaffordable ones in the European continent.

Europe Salary to Rent Ratio

To discover what European cities are the most affordable/unaffordable we follow a simple calculation. We firstly gathered data for the average net salary in the selected cities in Euro per month. Second, the average rent for each city for a one bedroom apartment. Here is the chart:

european salary to rent

Then, dividing the salary by the rent, we get the rent to salary ratio which is the number of monthly rents you can pay with the average one month wage for any given city.

City  Average Net Salary in Average 1 br Rent in * Rent to Salary Ratio
Lisbon 1136 1293 0.88
Madrid 2552 1025 2.49
Paris 2726 1291 2.11
Berlin 3095 1283 2.41
Brussels 2919 981 2.98
London 3446 1356 2.54
Rome 1702 1081 1.57
Warsaw 1528 866 1.76
Budapest 1090 554 1.97
Athens 969 503 1.93

* per month figures, the rent figures are for the average 1 bedroom rent without utilities in central neighbors. Data from 

Rent to salary ratio is calculated by the number of months of rent one can pay with one average salary in that city

Lisbon is the most unaffordable European capital from the list

Lisbon tops the list as the most unaffordable European capital. With an average net salary of 1136 euros per month, the common Lisbon resident cannot even afford one month of rent, as the rent to salary ratio is just of 0.88. This means that with an average salary in Lisbon, you can pay just 26 days of rent for a 1 bedroom flat in a central neighborhood.

Brussels is the most affordable European capital from the list

Brussels, Belgium tops the list as the most affordable capital if you have an average job and want to rent an apartment. With an average Belgian salary, you can pay almost 3 months of rent in Brussels (2.98). That is more than 3 times what you could do in Lisbon, considering you would have a similar job and the average local salary in both locations. 

The Average Range is 1.5 to 2.5 Months per Monthly Salary

Most European capitals are somewhere in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 months of rent per salary. In other words, if you can pay more than 2 months rent with your salary, you are better off than most Europeans. 

On the other hand, those that can’t afford 1.5 months of rent with their salary are probably making a bad deal wherever you are living in Europe.