After the financial crisis of 2008, it became almost impossible to buy a home, forcing would-be home buyers into the renters’ market and driving up the prices of apartments around the country. Some of the cities to take the largest hits in rising rent prices are also some of the most well-known cities in the country; however, some might surprise you. Nabbing an apartment in one of these cities can be extremely competitive due to low vacancy percentages so having stellar credit is a must to be considered for an apartment.
1. New York City, NY
The Big Apple is notorious for having some of the highest rents in the country. Not only is the rent in Manhattan as high as its skyscrapers, but rents in Brooklyn and Queens are rising upward. With rent prices so high in Manhattan, residents have little choice but to cross the river. The average price for a small one bedroom in Manhattan is around $3,000. Considering back in 2009, the average price was around $2,000, the cost of living has substantially grown in the past six years alone.
2. San Francisco, CA
San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities for renters, but it turns out, the areas around the city proper are also pricey. Apartments within a 10-mile radius of the city by the bay average at around $3,000 a month for a one bedroom. In 2009, these prices were significantly lower—only $1,400 for a one bedroom. Large companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter have imported employees in the past six years, causing rents to climb as high as New York’s.
3. Los Angeles, CA
Though Los Angeles is known as a wealthy city, the average price of an apartment is not as expensive as its neighbor to the north. The average price of a one bedroom in LA costs around $1,800 a month. In 2009, the average cost was only around $1,300, which means the cost of living has only increased by $500 a month in the past six years—a significantly smaller percentage the San Francisco or New York. Rents get pricier in neighborhoods like Century City and South Park, where neighborhoods like Hollywood and North Arroyo are on the lower end.
4. Seattle, WA
While Seattle hasn’t been known for outrageous rent prices in the past, in 2014, the rainy city saw over an eight percent spike in rent thanks to Amazon’s new campus. The online company brought in over 10,000 employees in 2014 and plans on importing at least twice that amount in 2015. The average rent for an apartment jumped from $1,000 to $1,400 in less than six months. Trendy neighborhoods like Bellevue saw the greatest increase with apartments rising to $1,654. The neighborhood of Ballard saw the largest percentage spike as its rents were raised almost 13 percent in a one-year time period.
5. Austin, TX
Though the state of Texas isn’t known for pricey apartments, the city of Austin has the highest rent in the state. The typical minimum wage employee would need to work a 111-hour workweek in Austin just to afford a two-bedroom apartment. In Austin, the minimum price for a two-bedroom apartment is just over $1,250 where the rest of Texas boasts prices under $900 a month. The most expensive neighborhood in Austin is Old West Austin that sees prices at around $1,800 a month. The cheapest neighborhood in the city is Rosedale that has two bedrooms for $1,200.
6. New Haven, CT
With New York City residents fleeing Manhattan and the other boroughs’ spike in rent prices, New Haven, Connecticut has received much of the overflow. Just over an hour train ride to the city, New Haven is slowly becoming a commuter enclave. The average rent in New Haven was around $1,300 in 2014. For a city that’s considered one of the worst cities to live in? Not great prices. In 2014, New Haven made it to number three on the most violent cities in America to live in. Connecticut also has some of the highest taxes in the country, making New Haven even more expensive.
7. Boston, MA
Boston tops the most expensive cities, hovering around New York and San Francisco rents. The average rent in Boston is around $2,900 a month. With the average household income at just over $53,000, this figure seems practically impossible. Vacancy rates are only just under six percent, making apartment hunting that much harder. Many residents, like in New York City, are heading outside the city proper for better deals and more vacancies. Rents in the neighborhood of East Cambridge were at the top of the spectrum while Mid-Cambridge apartments were a little more affordable.
8. Washington, D.C.
It’s no wonder so many rich politicians live in cushy digs in D.C. The rents in the city have only grown by about $300 in the past six years but remain high nonetheless. The average one bedroom in the capital city is around $1,700 a month and the average two bedroom is around $2,400 a month. This is quite high compared to the city of Baltimore, which has average one bedrooms at around $1,000 a month. Though the crime in Baltimore is much higher, many federal workers choose to live here and take the 45-minute train ride into the city and forgoing the steep Washington prices.
9. Santa Ana, CA
Though not a major metropolitan city like San Francisco or Los Angeles, Santa Ana is one of the most expensive cities in the country for renters. The average price for a rental in this city is around $2,000 a month. When you consider the city is located just 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles, it’s surprising that the city’s apartment prices are actually more expensive than that of a major metropolitan area. The population of Santa Ana is only just under 330,000 residents. The apartment prices are expected to grow by four percent each year.
10. Minneapolis, MN
Renters might expect the town to cap the Midwest’s most expensive rentals would be the windy city, but Minneapolis is actually topping the chart on this one. This once economical city broke the $1,000 mark in 2014 and is expected to see some more raises in rent. Perhaps it has something to do with Minneapolis and St. Paul becoming the insurance capitals of America (taking the title from Hartford, Connecticut) and bringing in new employees. The insurance companies originally moved to Minnesota for the cheap rents. Will they set a new rent level?
Whether or not you’re planning on moving to one of the below cities, maintaining good credit is the key to getting your dream apartment—wherever you may live.a
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