These Are the 9 Cities With the Highest Rent That Aren't NYC, SF or LA

Is your city on the list?

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@eddie_rios via Twenty20

If you live in California or New York, you know what it’s like to navigate a major housing affordability crisis and pay shocking prices just to stay within city limits. But before you move out, it’s worth checking what rent is like in other large metropolises across the country. 

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Apartment List compiles monthly reports of estimated rental price trends. Their July Rent Report shows the most recent rental pricing in major cities, with the national median rent for a one-bedroom apartment currently priced at $959. That’s about $100 more than it was five years ago

If you’re wondering why rent has gotten so expensive, it’s because desirable cities have persistent housing shortages that drive up rental prices. Demand for apartments has been exacerbated further by a recent surge of high-income renters. And to make matters worse, housing costs continue to climb while renters’ wages have remained stagnant. That means rent is taking up more of renters’ income, making it more difficult for them to save up for a home. 

For those willing to fork over some extra cash, here are the top nine most expensive cities to rent in based on median rent for a one-bedroom apartment.

9. Miami, $1,090:

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But for Miami residents, the problem isn’t just high rent. It’s high rent and low income. The city has been named the most “rent-burdened” in the U.S. for three years in a row. This means that the majority of renters spend more than 30 percent of their yearly income on housing because they don’t make enough to afford Miami housing.

8. Chicago, $1,094:

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Despite being the third most populous city in the country, rent prices in Chicago have stayed consistently lower than in New York City and Los Angeles. A one-bedroom in Chicago hovers around $1,000—about half of what it would cost you in NYC or LA.

7. Portland, OR, $1,124

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George Rose/Getty Images

Portland’s housing market might already be expensive, but Oregon recently took action to cap rent increases statewide. The legislation, which passed in February, made Oregon the first state in the country to impose rent control limits on landlords.

6. Austin, TX, $1,178

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Of Texas’ four largest cities—Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas—Austin is the priciest place to rent. Rent in the state capital is at least $100 more on average than its neighboring cities, according to ApartmentList data.

5. Seattle, WA, $1,344

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Carl Larson / Contributor

The Seattle real estate market has been among the fastest-growing and most expensive in the country for quite some time. But the good news for renters: prices are flatlining, and in some areas, going down. A recent building spree in the Seattle metro area left many new, but empty apartments, creating greater supply than demand in the market. Now might be the time to sign a new lease.

4. Washington, D.C., $1,503

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To comfortably afford a two-bedroom apartment in the nation’s capital, personal finance website SmartAsset estimates that you and your roommate would need to earn $108,300. It’s no wonder that more than 45 percent of D.C. renters spend over 30 percent of their income on rent, according to Census Bureau data.

3. San Diego, $1,567

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With its sunny skies and sandy beaches, it’s no wonder why San Diego draws large crowds. The city has seen drastic rent increases over the last few years, with one report showing a 12.7 percent increase over the previous year.

2. Boston, MA, $1,728

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As one of America’s biggest college towns, Boston owes much of its inflated rental prices to more than 70,000 students living off-campus. It’s also one of the most expensive places to own a home, forcing many potential buyers to rent instead.

1. San Jose, CA, $2,131

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David McNew/Newsmakers

San Francisco and Los Angeles might place first and second as California’s priciest towns, but San Jose takes the bronze. Named one of the hottest housing markets in the country, the heart of Silicon Valley has earned national attention for its soaring rent prices as its job market grows. Rental prices have increased by 24 percent over the last five years, according to ApartmentList. Good thing that tech employees can afford the higher rent - the median household income in the San Jose area is around $100,000.

Related: How to Take Extra Time Off (Without Using All of Your Paid Vacation Days)

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