The Real Deal New York

8 U.S. housing markets where the rent is just too high

Even a one-bedroom in the Bronx is pretty pricey

November 01, 2015 12:00PM
By Business Insider

apartment-for-rent-3(Credit: Flickr / cincy Project)

Over the last few years, rents have been soaring in major cities across the country. In fact, rising rents have even outpaced home price growth in some markets, making homeownership a much cheaper deal than renting. That said, we realize that not everyone is ready to settle down and buy a house even if the math theoretically makes sense.

The trouble is, renting in some cities is prohibitively expensive. For instance, in the city of San Francisco, 78.1 percent of one-bedroom homes are going for at least $2,500 a month. Meanwhile, 66.8 percent of one-bedroom rentals in Boston were listed for $2,000 a month or more.

Now for renters who are no longer lone wolves and in the market for a two-bedroom apartment, the odds of finding an affordable rental aren’t any better if you want to stay in the city center.

For example, nearly half of all the two-bedroom homes in Manhattan were listed for more than $4,000 a month. But if renters are willing to venture out to one of the other boroughs, the savings can be significant.

In nearby Brooklyn, only 11 percent of two-bedroom rentals are going for $4,000 a month or more as there are more rentals hovering near the $2,000 to $3,000 range.

Fortunately for renters, not every neighborhood in a city is prohibitively expensive. So, to help house hunters in the country’s priciest rental markets, we’ve mapped out where most of the one-bedroom rental are likely to be priced at more than $3,000 month or more than $2,000 a month.

This is based on all the homes listed for rent on Trulia between Jan. 1, 2015 and Oct. 20, 2015, which includes single-family homes, apartments, condos, and townhouses. Only neighborhoods with a sizable sample size of rentals were included.

Rents are sky high in San Francisco for one bedrooms.

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Believe it or not, San Francisco is home to one of America’s most expensive rental markets. The median rent for a one-bedroom rental in SF is currently at a whopping $3,200. The highest concentration of one-bedroom rentals priced over $3,000 is in Fisherman’s Wharf (82.8 percent), followed by the Mission (78.8 percent), and Pacific Heights (73.8 percent).

In Manhattan, one bedrooms are pretty pricey.

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The median rent for a one-bedroom rental in Manhattan, currently at $3,250, is equally as high as in San Francisco. And, as can be expected, rents vary dramatically across the five boroughs. Manhattan is the priciest, with the highest concentration of pricey 1-bedroom rentals in Battery Park City (90.9 percent) and the Flatiron District (90.8 percent). You’ll find more affordable rentals in the other four boroughs, except in Vinegar Hill in Brooklyn where 94.7 percent of the one-bedroom are going for at least $3,000 a month.

Same in Brooklyn.

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Queens is expensive too.

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The Bronx isn’t much better for one bedrooms.

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The heart of Boston is the most expensive for one bedroom apartments.

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In Boston, the median rent for one-bedroom rentals is $2,300 and budget-conscious renters should avoid the heart of the city. The higher end of the market is located in the West End, Chinatown/Leather District, Downtown Boston, and Back Bay. This is where you’ll find most of the one-bedroom homes that are going for more than $2,000 a month.

The area around Capitol Hill is the most expensive part of Washington DC.

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In our nation’s capital, the median rent for one-bedroom rentals is currently $1,875. Not surprisingly, the most expensive rentals form a ring around Capitol Hill, the White House, and all the rest of our country’s national monuments and museums. Renters will find the most 1-bedroom homes priced at $2,000 a month or more in Downtown (84.3 percent), Logan Circle-Shaw (76.7 percent), Cardozo-Shaw (76.5%), and Mount Vernon Square (76.4 percent).

It’s not as bad as the others in Los Angeles, but it’s not cheap either.

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While the City of Angels is known for multi-million dollar oceanfront mansions, the rental market isn’t nearly as over the top as it is in San Francisco and New York, but it’s not cheap either. The median rent for 1-bedroom rentals is currently $1,750. The neighborhood with the most 1-bedroom rentals going for more than $2,000 a month is Downtown Los Angeles (84.3 percent), followed by Brentwood (70.8 percent) and Century City (70.6 percent).

It’s not any better for 2 bedrooms in San Francisco.

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Looking for more space and want an additional bedroom? If so, you will probably want at least a two-bedroom apartment. Pricing for 2-bedroom units are equally depressing as that for one-bedroom units, if not more.

The median cost for a two-bedroom rental in SF is an incredible $4,500. The highest concentration of two-bedroom rentals priced over $3,000 is in Fisherman’s Wharf (100 percent), followed by North Beach (95.2%), followed by the Marina (92.1 percent), which is then followed by Pacific Heights (90.7 percent).

Not far behind SF, the median cost of a two-bedroom rental in Manhattan is $3,950.

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Much like for one-bedrooms, Manhattan and Brooklyn dominate the other NYC boroughs when it comes to unaffordable housing for two-bedrooms. For Manhattan, Battery Park City (98.8 percent) takes first place, Flatiron District (98 percent) second place, and Theater District – Times Square (97.8 percent) third place. Expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn also have a very high proportion of two-bedroom units priced above $3,000 per month. Those neighborhoods are Vinegar Hill (97.9%), DUMBO (90.7 percent), and Cobble Hill (87.9 percent).

You’ll have to shell out for a 2 bedroom in Brooklyn.

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The Bronx is better, but still pricey.

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There’s a lot of expensive 2 bedrooms in Queens.

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The median cost of a two-bedroom rental in Boston is $2,845.

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Chinatown / Leather District (87.6 percent) came out on top of the list of the most expensive two-bedroom rentals, followed by Downtown (79.1 percent) and Back Bay (75.4 percent).

In Washington, D.C., the median cost of a two-bedroom rental is $2,700.

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Georgetown (76 percent) came out on top in our analysis, followed by West End (74 percent) and Downtown (73.6 percent). Georgetown and West End were not among the top three neighborhoods in our one-bedroom analysis. These two neighborhoods came out on top in our two-bedroom analysis because many luxury properties in these neighborhoods tend to be larger in size (two+ units) and command a higher premium over smaller units.

Ranking for two-bedroom units is similar to that for one-bedroom units in Los Angeles, though the median price for a two-bedroom is higher than a one-bedroom at $2,695.

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Century City (84.1 percent) ranked highest, followed by Beverly Center (76.7 percent) and Downtown Los Angeles (70.0 percent).

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