5 Cities With The Highest Rent in the US

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Just how much are Americans paying in rent? Here at Rental Beast, we always have our eye on real estate trends (Related: 7 Critical Real Estate Trends (And What They Mean!) We want you to feel knowledgeable, and confident that you’re making the right move based on the dynamics of the US real estate market. Let’s take a look at rent prices across the US. Check out this list of the top 5 cities with the highest rent in the US and why residents are paying top dollar to live there.

1. San Diego- $3789 

San Diego has not been able to come up with the housing needed for its ever-increasing population and the result is a sky-high price tag on the few rental units available. Aggravating this problem is the 800% increase of short-term rentals in the city. Residents say that these Air B&B style lodgings take the place of residential housing, and help keep rental inventory low and prices high. In response, California lawmakers and residents have agitated for rent caps to help adjust prices and restrictions on short-term rentals.

2. San Francisco- $3706

The notoriously pricy San Francisco come in a close second of cities with the highest rent. With an average rent of just over $3700, trying to find a place to rent in San Francisco on a budget is no easy feat. An influx of lucrative tech jobs attracts talented young college grads who make enough to pay the exuberant monthly fee. However, other SF workers aren’t fairing as well. Teachers, for example, are struggling to afford rent, and, because of these astronomical prices, earning a six-figure salary can still classify you as low-income.  

3. New York City- $3519

The East Coast’s iconic metropolis New York comes into number three. The average rent in all five boroughs of New York combined ranks third on this list of cities with the highest rent. Additionally, like San Diego, and other cities around the US, lawmakers have proposed legislation to curb the new highs of rental pricing. It’s worth noting, too, that rent in the Isle of Manhattan alone would far outpace San Diego. The average price for an apartment in Manhattan is $4222. If Brooklyn was its independent city, its monthly cost of $3000 would put it at number 5. 

4. Boston, MA- $3500

Boston is hot on New York City’s heels with an average rent of $3500. The constant demand of apartments from the ever-present student population, the difficulty of commuting into downtown, and even Boston’s unique geography puts a strain on its housing market. So, it’s no wonder that Boston’s seen a steady increase in rental prices. (Related: The Rent in Boston and Why It’s So Expensive) Are you a real estate agent working in the greater Boston area? Rental Beast’s here to help. Our database of over 7 million off-MLS listings is active in Boston.

5. Oakland, CA- $2,854

Divided from San Francisco by a bridge, Oakland rounds out our list of 5 most expensive cities. Like San Francisco, many tenants have spoken out against Oakland’s super-high prices. Recently, disabled tenants took their concerns about affording ADA compliant homes to court. 

What Will Happen?

We can’t divine the future, but here’s some informed suggestions about what will happen in these pricy cities.

Suburban Sprawl

When there’s no more room inside of the city, it’s time to look outside city limits. Suburban areas are expanding fast, and real estate agents should take note. Suburban spaces not only offer more bang for a renter’s buck, but can offer renters more home options, more green space, and, often, better school districts. 

Related: Suburban Renting: Why Real Estate Agents Must Pay Attention

New Construction

We talk a lot about new construction and its potential to solve housing problems. After all, if you don’t have the housing, go ahead and build some! However, it’s important to note that new construction is most effective in solving housing problems when it’s affordable. Then, there’s the question of speed– how much longer can inhabitant in these cities wait? As populations swell and rent inventory declines, new housing is needed urgently.

The exact calculus that determines rent pricing is dependent on the circumstances of each city. However, with rental occupancy at an all time high, it’s no surprise that rental prices are rising in response to the low inventory volume. Build rentals into your business plan with Rental Beast. We know how hard finding and working with rentals can be, so we made a whole platform to simplifying the process. See all rental inventory available, not just the 20-30% on your local MLS, in our database of over 7 million rental listings. Get leads in the zip codes you work in texted directly to your phone, and share your listings to social medias. 

Ready to unleash the beast? To learn more about the Rental Beast platform or to request a no-obligation demo visit Rental Beast for Real Estate Agents.


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