NYC, Boston most expensive rental cities in US: Report

Beantown and the Big Apple take the top slots for America’s priciest cities.

According to a new report by the home listing platform Zumper, New York City’s October median of $3,860 monthly rent for a one-bedroom has made it the most expensive rental city in America. Boston, with a median $3,060 a month one-bedroom rent, gets the silver medal.

For its part, Boston has overtaken notoriously expensive San Francisco, which now comes in third with a median $3,020 for a one-bedroom.

Boston’s leapfrogging of Frisco for second place is largely a result of Bostonites having to navigate “especially low supply,” per the report.

The eye-watering numbers come, for the first time in two years, as both one- and two-bedroom apartments have simultaneously seen national price declines. These decreases, though, are only 0.8% and 0.7% respectively, bringing the national median one-bedroom rent to $1,491 and two-bedroom rent to $1,832. Still, they’re part of a larger slowdown that Zumper noted is traceable in its year-over-year figures.

An aerial view of the Boston skyline.
Getty Images
NYC has retained the top slot for the priciest metropolis for renting in the US.
NYC has retained the top slot for the priciest metropolis for renting in the US.
Tina Gallo/Douglas Elliman/Mega
zumper october 2022 rental report
Findings from Zumper’s October rental report.
Zumper

The trend has a number of causes, including rising vacancy rates and recession fears. Indeed, of those surveyed for the report, 76.2% said they believe the US is already in a recession.

Despite this, high interest rates and inflation will likely keep rental prices at competitive rates for the foreseeable future, although a fresh inflow of supply over the next half year will turn the tables slightly in favor of renters.

“In many metro areas, declining prices are actually a correction to prices that’d become overly inflated,” said Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades. “We saw historic levels of migration throughout the pandemic, as people switched to working from home and re-imagined their living situations. Now — with a turbulent, unpredictable economy causing fear of recession — migrations are slowing, occupancy rates are falling and rent prices are following suit.”

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