Looking to Rent? Here Are America's Highest and Lowest Rents

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Category: Neighborhoods
Looking to Rent? Here Are America's Highest and Lowest Rents

Many Americans believe that renting is more affordable than home ownership – and that might be true, depending on where you live. However, the average American mortgage payment of $1,029 is nothing compared to the nation’s highest rental rates.

According to a July 2019 report by Zumper, San Francisco beat out New York City as the nation’s priciest rental market. A one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco will run you $3,720 a month, and a two-bedroom jumps up to $4,800. This represents a 6.3% and 2.3% year-over-year increase, respectively.

Compare that to America’s lowest-priced rental market of Akron, Ohio, where you can get a one-bedroom for $550 a month or a two-bedroom for $730. Both of these current averages have decreased since this time last year.

The top 10 highest rents in America

Here are the median costs of one- and two-bedroom apartments in the country’s highest rental markets, according to the Zumper report:

Rank City One-Bedroom Median Rent Two-Bedroom Median Rent
1 San Francisco, CA $3,720 $4,800
2 New York, NY $2,940 $3,380
3 San Jose, CA $2,500 $3,000
4 Boston, MA $2,450 $2,840
5 Washington, DC $2,240 $2,850
6 Los Angeles, CA $2,230 $3,120
7 Oakland, CA $2,200 $2,720
8 Seattle, WA $1,850 $2,400
9 Miami, FL $1,790 $2,300
10 Santa Ana, CA $1,780 $2,180

The top 10 lowest rents in America

Rather live somewhere a little more affordable? These 10 U.S. cities had the lowest median rent costs:

Rank City One-Bedroom Median Rent Two-Bedroom Median Rent
1 Akron, OH $550 $730
2 Wichita, KS $610 $690
3 Detroit, MI $610 $690
4 Lubbock, TX $630 $780
5 Tucson, AZ $640 $880
6 Tulsa, OK $650 $800
7 Shreveport, LA $650 $700
8 El Paso, TX $650 $800
9 Lincoln, NE $670 $890
10 Columbus, OH $700 $1,070

Common factors that impact cost of living

Why does the same $2,000 in rent get you a tiny studio apartment in one city and a spacious four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in another?

There are a lot of complex factors that play into a particular area’s cost of living, including housing inventory, population, public transportation options, education and employment opportunities, and proximity to resources such as food supplies and gas.

These are all important things to consider before choosing a neighborhood in which to buy or rent property. For example, if you move to a large coastal city, you’ll have easy access to jobs, amenities, entertainment and international travel – but as the Zumper data shows, you’ll pay much more for housing and basic necessities. Settling down in a smaller city or suburb might mean you need to travel further for work, shopping and nightlife, but your housing costs will be significantly less.

Want to know what properties in your neighborhood are worth? Plug any address into NeighborWho to find out owner details, current value and more.

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Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.

About the author

Nicole Fallon

Nicole Fallon is a former journalist turned copywriter and content strategist. She is based in New Jersey and enjoys helping small businesses grow through great content marketing.