Military families move quite often, relocating about every two and a half years on average.

So it’s not surprising that they generally prefer to rent rather than own a home. But affordability has become a problem in some areas around military bases where rents have climbed in recent years.

Research published by real estate website Trulia on Wednesday depicts sizable variation in rental housing affordability across regions.

The least affordable areas identified were Fayetteville, Ark., and the Florida Keys, where fewer than one in 10 Trulia rental listings were affordable for those with dependents in the four lowest military pay grades. In the area surrounding the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va. -- home to about 8,200 military personnel -- only 11.7 percent of rentals were similarly affordable to personnel with dependents.

The report examined military housing areas -- groups of federally defined ZIP codes near some form of military installation -- across the country, comparing rent prices with housing stipends provided by the federal government. The majority of the least affordable areas were large cities or in coastal regions and other areas tied to tourism.

Members of the military receive a housing stipend based on their pay grades, adjusted for local rent and utility costs. Personnel with children receive higher housing allowances (an average of about 31 percent more than those without dependents), although families with one child receive the same as those with multiple children. Typically, about three-quarters of housing stipends pay for rent costs, with the remainder going to utilities, so Trulia calculated the share of all rentals in an area not exceeding 75 percent of the housing allowance.

This table shows affordability for military personnel in the four lowest pay grades, who collectively make up just over half of enlisted personnel:

Military Housing Area Listings With Rent Less Than 75% of Housing Stipend Stipend Surplus Over Median Rent Pay Grade E01-E04 Housing Stipend
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD 26.2% 6.5% $1,452
Abilene/Dyess Air Force Base, TX 40.5% 19.0% $1,071
Akron, OH 58.4% 48.4% $1,113
Albany, GA 56.1% 42.2% $885
Albuquerque/Kirtland Air Force Base, NM 29.7% 9.9% $1,209
Allentown/Bethlehem, PA 53.0% 39.9% $1,539
Anchorage, AK 31.7% 13.8% $1,707
Ann Arbor, MI 34.6% 15.7% $1,533
Annapolis, MD 32.2% 16.6% $2,040
Asheville, NC 28.5% 6.6% $1,386
Atlanta, GA 37.7% 15.0% $1,374
Atlantic City, NJ 35.8% 20.2% $1,563
Austin, TX 18.1% -2.3% $1,515
Ballston Spa/Albany, NY 51.3% 33.4% $1,668
Baltimore, MD 59.6% 44.2% $2,019
Bangor, ME 39.3% 21.8% $1,035
Baton Rouge, LA 29.0% 4.5% $1,254
Battle Creek/Kalamazoo, MI 47.9% 30.2% $1,074
Beale Air Force Base, CA 36.3% 8.2% $1,509
Beaufort/Parris Island, SC 18.1% -4.4% $1,290
Beaumont, TX 65.5% 54.8% $1,347
Birmingham, AL 49.3% 33.3% $1,233
Bloomington, IN 35.9% 14.6% $1,089
Boise, ID 14.3% -6.8% $927
Boston, MA 37.0% 21.0% $2,904
Boulder, CO 16.7% -7.0% $1,698
Bremerton, WA 33.6% 10.8% $1,413
Brownsville, TX 38.6% 18.2% $1,182
Brunswick, ME 57.5% 44.8% $1,158
Buffalo, NY 67.4% 67.0% $1,461
Burlington, VT 36.5% 18.4% $1,776
Camp Lejeune, NC 48.6% 31.3% $1,149
Camp Pendleton, CA 22.4% 0.8% $2,016
Cannon Air Force Base/Clovis, NM 44.5% 22.8% $1,044
Cape Cod, MA 15.7% -9.1% $1,545
Carlisle Barracks, PA 58.3% 45.2% $1,305
Champaign/Urbana, IL 33.1% 14.0% $969
Charleston, SC 30.1% 9.7% $1,536
Charleston, WV 46.5% 29.9% $1,104
Charlotte, NC 41.0% 21.6% $1,404
Charlottesville, VA 43.3% 24.8% $1,623
Chattanooga, TN 47.3% 30.8% $1,308
Cheyenne, WY 22.2% -4.7% $948
Chicago, IL 33.0% 7.3% $1,878
Cincinnati, OH 71.6% 68.0% $1,470
Cleveland, OH 58.1% 42.1% $1,350
College Station, TX 25.1% -16.2% $1,089
Colorado Springs, CO 27.8% 3.8% $1,344
Columbia/Fort Jackson, SC 46.8% 31.4% $1,314
Columbia/Jefferson City, MO 36.4% 17.0% $930
Columbus, OH 33.2% 12.5% $1,119
Coos Bay, OR 45.7% 29.0% $1,032
Corpus Christi, TX 30.1% 12.3% $1,572
Corvallis, OR 26.1% -3.0% $1,116
County Cost Group 530 53.0% 42.6% $927
County Cost Group 540 62.4% 51.7% $948
County Cost Group 550 67.0% 61.0% $966
County Cost Group 560 64.1% 51.4% $984
County Cost Group 570 58.0% 43.1% $1,002
County Cost Group 580 64.6% 51.1% $1,020
County Cost Group 590 63.6% 49.8% $1,041
County Cost Group 600 57.1% 42.1% $1,059
County Cost Group 610 63.8% 53.9% $1,077
County Cost Group 620 56.1% 43.1% $1,095
County Cost Group 630 50.2% 35.3% $1,116
County Cost Group 640 59.1% 42.6% $1,134
County Cost Group 650 53.8% 39.3% $1,149
County Cost Group 660 56.5% 37.3% $1,167
County Cost Group 670 49.9% 32.7% $1,188
County Cost Group 680 49.1% 30.4% $1,206
County Cost Group 690 43.1% 22.4% $1,224
County Cost Group 700 45.2% 27.4% $1,242
County Cost Group 710 43.8% 26.9% $1,263
County Cost Group 720 42.9% 22.0% $1,281
County Cost Group 730 39.1% 18.1% $1,299
County Cost Group 740 39.0% 17.1% $1,317
County Cost Group 750 32.0% 7.0% $1,338
Dahlgren/Fort Ap Hill, VA 35.9% 18.7% $1,602
Dallas, TX 40.4% 21.1% $1,695
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ 32.0% 13.7% $1,137
Denver, CO 28.1% 6.4% $1,809
Des Moines, IA 33.2% 17.4% $1,233
Detroit, MI 62.5% 52.3% $1,470
Duluth, MN 54.8% 37.1% $1,302
Durham/Chapel Hill, NC 34.2% 14.3% $1,371
Eastern Panhandle, WV 21.2% -0.5% $1,095
Edwards Air Force Base/Palmdale, CA 20.1% -5.8% $1,272
Eglin Air Force Base, FL 33.4% 10.8% $1,335
El Paso, TX 30.8% 19.4% $1,194
Erie, PA 54.2% 38.0% $1,104
Essex Co, MA 57.7% 42.6% $2,139
Eugene, OR 50.9% 35.4% $1,320
Everett, WA 31.4% 10.0% $1,755
Fairbanks, AK 30.5% 8.4% $1,488
Fargo, ND 31.7% 2.2% $1,017
Fayetteville, AR 9.2% -18.6% $855
Fitchburg, MA 57.1% 47.0% $1,764
Florida Keys, FL 9.3% -17.3% $2,232
Fort Benning, GA 60.5% 49.8% $1,266
Fort Bragg/Pope, NC 42.5% 23.2% $1,170
Fort Campbell, KY 59.1% 42.1% $1,350
Fort Chaffee/Fort Smith, AR 37.2% 19.1% $774
Fort Collins, CO 27.3% 2.6% $1,431
Fort Detrick, MD 18.7% 6.5% $1,650
Fort Drum/Watertown, NY 50.5% 38.0% $1,380
Fort G. G. Meade, MD 25.4% 12.9% $2,139
Fort Gordon, GA 50.7% 33.6% $1,236
Fort Hood, TX 50.0% 32.2% $1,134
Fort Huachuca, AZ 18.4% 0.9% $858
Fort Leavenworth, KS 23.5% -0.9% $1,041
Fort Leonard Wood, MO 38.5% 17.0% $936
Fort Monmouth/Earle Nws, NJ 42.1% 23.5% $2,223
Fort Pierce, FL 22.4% 1.8% $1,374
Fort Riley, KS 35.9% 11.5% $1,059
Fort Sill/Lawton, OK 47.3% 28.9% $960
Fort Wayne, IN 57.4% 43.0% $951
Fort Worth, TX 48.2% 29.5% $1,548
Fresno, CA 47.5% 27.7% $1,398
Ft Myers Bch, FL 27.6% 6.3% $1,488
Gainesville, FL 48.2% 31.7% $1,251
Grand Rapids, MI 18.6% -3.3% $957
Greensboro, NC 37.3% 19.0% $1,041
Greenville, SC 43.5% 25.1% $1,251
Gulfport, MS 36.6% 22.0% $1,098
Hampden County, MA 59.4% 49.4% $1,569
Hampton/Newport News, VA 32.1% 15.3% $1,383
Hanscom Air Force Base, MA 72.9% 65.2% $2,643
Hartford, CT 60.6% 44.0% $1,800
Hattiesburg, MS 65.3% 51.6% $1,137
Honolulu County, HI 39.9% 18.8% $2,613
Houston, TX 30.9% 12.5% $1,575
Humboldt County, CA 34.1% 10.1% $1,098
Huntington, WV 58.4% 52.4% $1,059
Huntsville, AL 53.6% 37.4% $1,230
Indian Head Navordsta, MD 30.3% 16.4% $2,037
Indianapolis, IN 43.0% 21.5% $1,197
Jacksonville, FL 41.1% 24.2% $1,428
Jb Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ 32.5% 19.6% $1,794
Johnson City/Kingsport, TN 46.5% 25.6% $942
Johnstown, PA 63.3% 45.6% $837
Kansas City, MO 57.2% 44.7% $1,302
Knoxville, TN 50.2% 33.8% $1,137
Lafayette, LA 30.6% 2.0% $1,224
Lake Charles, LA 52.9% 38.0% $1,380
Lansing, MI 66.5% 49.0% $1,155
Lemoore Nas, CA 29.4% 3.4% $1,086
Lexington, KY 27.3% 7.6% $1,071
Lexington, VA 44.4% 30.5% $1,044
Lincoln, NE 39.3% 14.3% $1,026
Little Rock, AR 57.2% 41.3% $1,272
Long Island, NY 52.4% 35.7% $2,985
Los Angeles, CA 28.3% 1.6% $2,337
Louisville, KY 63.1% 51.9% $1,329
Lubbock, TX 18.4% -4.9% $951
Madison, WI 45.4% 24.5% $1,401
Manchester/Concord, NH 65.0% 51.5% $1,818
Marin/Sonoma, CA 21.6% -6.4% $2,433
Marquette, MI 35.0% 14.5% $999
Maui County, HI 16.1% -9.5% $2,082
Memphis, TN 56.8% 46.0% $1,314
Miami/Fort Lauderdale, FL 34.9% 14.5% $2,232
Milwaukee, WI 57.8% 48.1% $1,407
Minneapolis/St Paul, MN 29.1% 10.7% $1,494
Minot Air Force Base, ND 51.5% 38.4% $1,308
Mobile, AL 45.1% 24.0% $1,209
Monterey, CA 16.9% -14.1% $1,890
Montgomery, AL 49.0% 32.1% $1,182
Moody Air Force Base, GA 44.7% 32.4% $1,059
Morehead/Cherry Pt Mcas, NC 33.4% 17.2% $1,113
Morgantown, WV 40.5% 23.0% $1,107
Myrtle Beach, SC 29.2% 17.9% $1,179
Nashville, TN 32.7% 16.8% $1,635
Nellis Air Force Base/Las Vegas, NV 26.6% 7.2% $1,281
New Haven/Fairfield, CT 79.5% 100.0% $3,000
New London, CT 34.0% 18.0% $1,416
New Orleans, LA 28.7% 2.7% $1,335
New York City, NY 50.6% 34.1% $3,486
Newport, RI 30.4% 14.2% $1,599
Norfolk/Portsmouth, VA 34.3% 19.1% $1,518
Northern New Jersey 42.1% 20.0% $2,220
Ns Great Lakes, IL 22.8% 0.1% $1,377
Oakland, CA 45.0% 25.9% $3,135
Ocala, FL 40.1% 16.1% $1,329
Ocean City, MD 42.4% 26.8% $1,281
Ogden/Hill Air Force Base, UT 30.4% 8.3% $1,029
Oklahoma City, OK 41.5% 24.5% $1,245
Omaha/Offutt Air Force Base, NE 38.6% 15.4% $1,212
Orlando, FL 26.4% 7.1% $1,392
Oxford, MD 23.3% 9.2% $1,584
Panama City, FL 42.6% 25.5% $1,443
Patrick Air Force Base, FL 38.1% 21.8% $1,461
Patuxent River, MD 17.5% 3.2% $1,548
Pensacola, FL 34.7% 16.1% $1,170
Peoria, IL 53.7% 36.0% $1,071
Perth Amboy, NJ 23.2% 10.7% $1,992
Philadelphia, PA/Camden, NJ 60.5% 49.8% $1,917
Phoenix, AZ 31.4% 12.4% $1,377
Pittsburgh, PA 61.0% 57.9% $1,530
Plymouth, MA 30.3% 13.6% $1,704
Portland, ME 28.9% 10.2% $1,653
Portland, OR 26.0% 8.6% $1,683
Portsmouth, NH/Kittery, ME 38.1% 22.3% $1,590
Providence, RI 54.4% 34.5% $1,614
Provo, UT 32.6% 8.2% $1,077
Quantico/Woodbridge, VA 11.7% -1.2% $1,680
Raleigh, NC 27.3% 5.6% $1,368
Rapid City/Ellsworth Air Force Base, SD 28.6% 7.7% $1,023
Reno/Carson City, NV 27.7% -9.7% $1,170
Richmond/Fort Lee, VA 34.1% 12.2% $1,290
Riverside, CA 26.0% 6.8% $1,815
Roanoke, VA 43.8% 23.7% $1,107
Robins Air Force Base, GA 43.7% 28.2% $1,122
Rochester, NY 66.7% 58.5% $1,359
Rock Island, IL 77.4% 68.8% $1,350
Rome/Griffiss Air Force Base, NY 60.9% 55.2% $1,164
Sacramento, CA 39.5% 21.9% $1,701
Saginaw, MI 79.4% 67.0% $1,002
Salem, OR 33.0% 10.5% $1,077
Salt Lake City, UT 34.9% 6.2% $1,221
San Antonio, TX 39.1% 21.2% $1,515
San Bernardino, CA 44.9% 29.9% $1,689
San Diego, CA 31.8% 9.7% $2,232
San Francisco, CA 24.5% 2.6% $4,002
San Luis Obispo, CA 14.6% -11.7% $1,590
Santa Clara County, CA 29.0% 4.8% $3,351
Santa Fe/Los Alamos, NM 19.7% -13.0% $1,296
Savannah, GA 38.8% 21.0% $1,452
Scott Air Force Base, IL 51.3% 36.7% $1,128
Seattle, WA 29.3% 9.1% $2,073
Shreveport/Barksdale Air Force Base, LA 48.0% 28.4% $1,278
Sioux Falls, SD 34.4% 17.9% $1,014
Spokane, WA 39.4% 19.0% $1,065
Springfield, MO 49.7% 31.7% $876
Springfield/Decatur, IL 42.4% 23.4% $987
St. Louis, MO 52.8% 39.3% $1,254
Staten Island, NY 67.4% 56.0% $2,340
Stockton, CA 26.1% -0.8% $1,284
Syracuse, NY 36.1% 14.9% $1,143
Tacoma, WA 29.9% 11.1% $1,500
Tallahassee, FL 51.0% 36.7% $1,230
Tampa, FL 41.0% 23.5% $1,605
Terre Haute, IN 73.2% 63.5% $981
Toledo, OH 64.2% 50.0% $1,125
Topeka, KS 58.7% 44.2% $1,002
Trenton, NJ 40.3% 21.8% $1,980
Tulsa, OK 30.3% 8.5% $1,080
Twenty Nine Palms MCB, CA 16.4% -5.1% $807
Vallejo/Travis Air Force Base, CA 28.2% 11.7% $2,010
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA 19.1% -3.4% $1,545
Ventura, CA 13.9% -12.4% $2,145
Volusia County, FL 36.8% 14.0% $1,368
Waco, TX 32.2% 16.0% $1,044
Warrenton, VA 21.1% 3.8% $2,070
Washington, D.C. Metro Area 27.0% 9.5% $2,184
West Palm Beach, FL 34.7% 15.9% $1,848
West Point, NY 63.5% 53.7% $2,382
Westchester County, NY 53.2% 38.6% $2,772
Whidbey Island, WA 12.0% -11.2% $1,110
White Sands Mr/Las Cruces, NM 23.6% 7.0% $963
Wichita Fls/Sheppard Air Force Base, TX 39.8% 21.7% $1,053
Wichita/Mcconnell Air Force Base, KS 38.3% 20.4% $993
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA 61.1% 45.8% $1,239
Willow Grove, PA 47.1% 28.4% $1,920
Wilmington, NC 24.6% 7.2% $1,233
Worcester, MA 61.5% 45.0% $1,668
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 62.6% 49.6% $1,122
Yakima, WA 45.1% 32.1% $1,050
Youngstown, OH 66.8% 54.4% $888

Source: Trulia; Affordability and housing stipend shown for personnel with dependents in pay grades E01-E04
  For larger families, cost burdens can be much greater. These families require units with more bedrooms, and the Trulia data reflects listings with a median of approximately two bedrooms per unit. Limited availability of rentals with more than two bedrooms also presents a concern, particularly in urban areas, as the vast majority of rental units have no more than two bedrooms.

The same challenges are faced by families across many of the nation’s largest cities. On average, about 52 percent of households in the 25 most populated cities spend more than the standard 30 percent of income on gross rent costs (which include utilities), according to Census estimates. About a quarter of households even report spending half or more of income on housing expenses.

Teachers, public safety personnel and other local government employees often struggle to afford housing costs in areas where prices have skyrocketed.

The most affordable areas for military families in the Trulia analysis tended to be smaller cities or rural areas. More than three-quarters of rental listings were considered affordable in the Rock Island, Ill., and Saginaw, Mich., military housing areas, for example. The New Haven-Fairfield, Conn., area was deemed the most affordable area, due in large part to the high $3,000 monthly housing stipend for that region.

Trulia also assessed housing affordability for single military personnel without dependents by analyzing listings data on studio and one-bedroom units. Affordability was generally found to be much better than it was for those with dependents -- likely more of a result of the overall lack of affordable family housing than differences in housing stipend amounts.