Most Expensive & Cheapest Cities to Rent in the U.S.


When looking to relocate to a new city, it’s important to understand what your cost of living will look like. While the most expensive cities tend to be viewed as the most desirable living locations in the U.S., there are quite a few gems that allow for a much cheaper cost of living. Here are the top ten most expensive and cheapest cities in the U.S.

Most Expensive Cities

1. San Francisco, CA

This West Coast city has finally surpassed New York as the most expensive city in the country. With the rise of Silicon Valley and the tech boom, people have been flocking here to take advantage of this recent spike. The average rent for an apartment is $4,350 and cost for homes $1,195,000.

2. New York City, NY

New York City hasn’t fallen far from the top of the most expensive city list and, in fact, housing prices are still rising in the great metro. While there are many opportunities for work in New York, the high cost of living doesn’t end with housing. The average cost of a home in NYC is $774,950 and an apartment is $3,000.

3. Boston, MA

Coming in third is Boston. With its vibrant higher education environment and thriving tech scene, there are still many who flock to this historic city. Housing costs continue to rise in this city, while unemployment is rapidly decreasing. The median home price is $542,100, while apartments for rent tend to go for $2,800.

4. Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital ranks as the fourth most expensive city in the country. D.C. has a robust economy in both the government and private sector, with federal jobs, think tanks, lobbying and tourism. The median home price in Washington D.C. is $549,000 and average apartment rental goes for $2,575.

5. Los Angeles, CA

While the housing in LA is still on the high end, other costs of living rank rather lower than the other ones on this list, which is why it falls lower on the list. While the median rent is high, LA is so spread out you can find a wide range of prices depending on what neighborhood you’re searching in. The average home value in LA is $622,900 and the average for an apartment is $3,500.

Cheapest Cities

1. Memphis, TN

Memphis, well known for its history of music and BBQ, is a fun, vibrant city with a thriving nightlife and an amazingly cheap cost of living. Here, an average home will cost you about $89,000 and an apartment only $850 per month.

2. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis is a bustling Midwestern city with a central location in the state and with easy access to many larger cities nearby. It is also a transportation hub and has a thriving sports culture. The median home price here goes for $112,000 and apartment rentals go for around $775 on average.

3. Omaha, NE

With an unemployment rate that sits well below the national average and a wealth of new apartments and condos being built in this unlikely Midwestern hub, Omaha has a lot to offer for young people looking to get their start. The median home price in Omaha is $143,000 and for apartments rent is $865.

4. Columbus, OH

Home to Ohio State University, Columbus has one of the brightest economic outlooks and the most educated population of any of Ohio’s cities. Homes here average around $105,000 and rent is $825 on average. Columbus also has a lot of section 8 housing opportunities, and those apartments generally go for around $500.

5. Las Vegas, NV

While the City of Sin might seem an unlikely bargain, Vegas never quite recovered from the 2007 housing bust, making it an unexpected place to find affordable housing. House prices average $175,000 and apartments $1,100.

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