The Top 5 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S. All Saw Rent Decreases Last Month

published Sep 18, 2020
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Renters paying sky-high prices in cities, rejoice! If you’re hunting for an apartment in a top real estate rental market, you probably saw a slight decrease in prices last month. In the top five expensive cities to rent in, there was a decrease in the median price for a 1-bedroom apartment in August, according to Zumper’s National Rent Report. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, 9 out of 10 of the country’s most expensive cities continued their year-over-year declines in median rent for 1-bedroom units compared to the previous month.

Topping the list as the most expensive city to rent in, San Francisco’s 1-bedroom median price dropped 5 percent since August from $3,200 to $3,040—a 14.1 percent decrease from one year ago. Additionally, both the 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom medians were down over 14 percent from last year.  

In the Big Apple, the median rent for a 1-bedroom decreased 4.9 percent from last month from $2,840 to $2,700, and the 2-bedroom median rent decreased 5 percent to $3,040. In New York City, the 1-bedroom median and 2-bedroom median were down 10.9 percent and 11.6 percent from last year, respectively.

Both New York City and San Francisco reached the lowest price points ever last month since Zumper started tracking median prices in 2014. 

Head east of New York to Boston, which saw a 2.1 percent decrease in the median 1-bedroom price from last month from $2,350 to $2,300, and a 0.4 percent drop to $2,800 in the 2-bedroom median rent.

San Jose, Calif., which is the fourth-most expensive rental city, saw a 3 percent decrease for 1-bedroom median rent, which came in at $2,230. For its 2-bedroom median, the city saw a 2.5 percent decrease from $2,820 to $2,750 last month. 

Credit: Zumper

Joining its fellow California ranking, Oakland came in as the number five most expensive place to rent an apartment. Its 1-bedroom median decreased 0.9 percent last month to $2,200, and the 2-bedroom median decreased 3.4 percent from $2,900 to $2,800.

On the flip side, renters in Detroit, Mich., Chattanooga, Tenn., and other cities saw an increase in rental prices last month. If you’re in a mid-sized city, rents are steadily inching up in price, per Zumper. 

Overall across the nation, the 1-bedroom median rent remained flat compared to last month at $1,233, while the 2-bedroom median rent decreased by 0.3 percent, ending up at $1,490. Compared to 2019, the median rent for a 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom were both up by 0.7 percent.