Big Cities with Cheap Rent

Colin GrubbNov 20, 2017

As the housing market has continued to recover since 2009, rental rates have been steadily rising. One of the main contributing factors is the dwindling supply of homes on the market as would-be sellers are electing to stay in their homes longer.

As home prices continue to rise, many prospective buyers are getting priced out and are forced to stay in the rental market longer. This in turn drives up rental prices and drives down vacancy rates. Consequently, rent as a percentage of income has increased to 29.2% in Q2 2017, up from the 1985-2000 historic rate of 25.8%.

In general, those in big cities have been affected the most, with average rental prices routinely topping $1,000/month for a 1 bedroom apartment. With that in mind, ConsumersAdvocate.org decided to see which big cities still offered reasonable rental prices.

Methodology

To determine which U.S. cities had the cheapest rent, researchers at ConsumersAdvocate.org used data from the American Community Survey’s 2016 1-year estimates to see which cities with populations over 500k had the lowest median gross rent for a 1 bedroom apartment. The American Community Survey defines “median gross rent” as “as the rent contract plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities and fuels.”


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

20. Nashville, Tennessee

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $865
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $979
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 28.4%
  • Population: 660,393


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

19. Houston, Texas

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $855
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $952
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 30.9%
  • Population: 2,304,388


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

18. Dallas, Texas

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $847
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $935
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 28.4%
  • Population: 1,317,942


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

17. Fort Worth, Texas

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $824
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $974
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 29.1%
  • Population: 855,897


Photo Credit: GoodFreePhotos

16. Baltimore, Maryland

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $812
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $999
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 29.6%
  • Population: 614,664


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

15. San Antonio, Texas

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $797
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $924
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 29.8%
  • Population: 1,492,494


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

14. Phoenix, Arizona

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $768
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $960
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 29.4%
  • Population: 1,615,041


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

13. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $766
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $980
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 29%
  • Population: 880,623


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

12. Columbus, Ohio

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $720
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $882
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 28.1%
  • Population: 862,643


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

11. Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $713
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $996
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 32.5%
  • Population: 632,916


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

10. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $706
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $857
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 33%
  • Population: 652,752


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

9. Fresno, California

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $702
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $913
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 36.8%
  • Population: 522,021


Photo Credit: pxhere

8. Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $699
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $835
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 30.9%
  • Population: 852,506


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

7. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $677
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $809
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 31.6%
  • Population: 559,270


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

6. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $662
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $802
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 27.6%
  • Population: 638,311


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

5. Milwaukee City, Wisconsin

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $654
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $809
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 32%
  • Population: 595,070


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

4. El Paso, Texas

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $637
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $778
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 30.3%
  • Population: 683,088


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

3. Louisville, Kentucky

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $626
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $785
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 28.3%
  • Population: 616,261


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

2. Tucson, Arizona

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $606
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $783
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 32.7%
  • Population: 530,690


Photo Credit: Wikimedia

1. Detroit, Michigan

  • Median Rent for 1 Bedroom: $530
  • Median Rent (all unit sizes): $771
  • Median Rent as a % of Income (all unit sizes): 36.5%
  • Population: 672,829