Rising Rents! 10 Cities Where Apartment Prices Are Increasing Fastest

for rent sign

A “For Rent” sign | Scott Olson/Getty Images

The rent is too damn high, and it’s getting more expensive for many of America’s apartment dwellers. The cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment is up in many major cities, according to apartment rental website Abobo’s National Apartment Report.

Between August and September 2016, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment increased 9% in Miami, 7% in Philadelphia, and 6% in Detroit. Several other cities also saw significant month-over-month increases, including Memphis and Minneapolis. Nationwide, the average rent for a one-bedroom unit was $940 in September, up from $932 in August.

The news isn’t all bad for renters. In some cities – including a few that regularly top lists of the most expensive places to live – the monthly cost of leasing an apartment actually fell, in some cases by double digits. Rents in Seattle, San Jose, and Los Angeles dropped between 8% and 13%. But prices in those cities are still high overall. A one bedroom in San Jose rented for an average of $2,455 per month in September, down $335 from August. In Seattle, average rent fell from $2,170 to $1,890.

Overall, nearly half of Americans who rent an apartment are cost-burdened, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS), meaning they spend more than 30% of their monthly income on rent and utilities. Roughly one-quarter are severely burdened, or spending at least half their monthly income on housing. The number of cost-burdened renters nationwide increased from 14.8 million in 2001 to 21.3 million in 2014.

For households already paying 50% or more of their monthly income in rent, even relatively modest increases in the cost of housing can be a financial blow they’re not prepared to manage. “[S]everely burdened renters in the bottom expenditure quartile had on average just over $500 left per month to cover all other expenses,” including healthcare, food, transportation, and contributions to retirement savings, noted a JCHS report on the state of America’s rental housing market.

In other words, life could be getting a bit tougher for already stretched households in these 10 U.S. cities, which had the biggest monthly increases in rents, according to Adobo.

10. San Diego, California

san diego

San Diego, California | David McNew/Getty Images

  • Average August rent: $1,738
  • Average September rent: $1,775
  • Increase: 2%

Roughly 54% of households in the San Diego metro area are cost-burdened, according to JCHS. Twenty-nine percent pay more than half their income in rent.

9. St. Louis, Missouri

st. louis arch

St. Louis, Missouri | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Average August rent: $888
  • Average September rent: $909
  • Increase: 2%

Rents in St. Louis were up from August to September in 2016, but the typical rent in this city is still a bit below the national average, as are the numbers of renters who are cost-burdened (47% versus the national average of 49%).

8. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Skyline

Memphis, Tennessee | iStock.com

  • Average August rent: $829
  • Average September rent: $857
  • Increase: 3%

The average rent for a one-bedroom increased $28 between August and September. That may not sound like a lot, but for Memphis-area renters, who have a median household income of $27,200, it’s a significant increase. Thirty percent of renters in the metro area are severely cost-burdened.

7. Minneapolis, Minnesota

minneapolis minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota | iStock.com

  • Average August rent: $1,368
  • Average September rent: $1,424
  • Increase: 4%

The average price of a one-bedroom in Minneapolis jumped 4%. The share of households in this Midwestern metro who are cost-burdened is on par with the national average.

6. Riverside, California

riverside, california

Homes in Riverside, California | iStock.com/NLN

  • Average August rent: $898
  • Average September rent: $950
  • Increase: 6%

Three of the cities that had the biggest month-to-month increases in rent were in California, including Riverside. Nearly 60% of renters, or 300,200 households, in the larger Inland Empire area were cost-burdened, 32% severely so.

5. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit Skyline during the evening

Detroit, Michigan | iStock.com/Steven_Kriemadis

  • Average August rent: $572
  • Average September rent: $606
  • Increase: 6%

At first glance, rent in Detroit looks affordable, even with a 6% month-over-month increase. But incomes are also fairly low in the Detroit area, which strains renters’ budgets. The average household that rents earns a little more than $29,000 per year, and 51% spend more then 30% of their monthly income on housing.

4. Fresno, California

"Fresno, California pinned on a map

Fresno, California on a map | iStock.com

  • Average August rent: $743
  • Average September rent: $790
  • Increase: 6%

Rents in Fresno, a city of about 500,000 people in California’s Central Valley, increased 6% from August to September. Fifty-six percent of renting households pay more than 30% of their income in rent, and 32% pay more than half.

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | iStock.com

  • Average August rent: $1,291
  • Average September rent: $1,379
  • Increase: 7%

Rents in Philadelphia, which rose 7% between August and September, are roughly $350 higher than the national average. Fifty-three percent of households in the Philly metro area are cost-burdened, 30% severely so.

2. Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield pinned on map

Bakersfield, California pinned on map | iStock.com/s-c-s

  • Average August rent: $669
  • Average September rent: $725
  • Increase: 9%

In Bakersfield, rents jumped 9% from August to September, the second-highest increase according to Adodo’s report. The median income for renter households was $31,000, and 53% of renters spent more than 30% of their monthly paycheck on housing.

1. Miami, Florida

miami florida skyline

Miami, Florida | ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

  • Average August rent: $1,599
  • Average September rent: $1,739
  • Increase: 9%

Already pricey Miami saw average monthly rents increase more than $100 from August to September. You need an annual income of $86,285 to afford to live in this coastal city, according to Trulia, but many renters aren’t bringing in nearly that much. The average renter household in the Miami metro area earns $34,000 per year, and 35% of them pay more than half their income in rent.

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