2023’s Most Expensive Metro Areas for Renters

Staff Report

Friday, June 23rd, 2023

Where might renters pay the most on their next move?

With rent being the largest contributor to inflation over the past year, Lawn Loveranked 2023’s Most Expensive Metro Areas for Renters.

We compared 172 of the biggest U.S. metros based on three categories. We looked at average rent prices, year-over-year rent changes, and the share of renters spending over 30% of their income on rent and utilities, among nine total metrics.

See the 10 most expensive (and 10 most affordable) metro areas for renters, followed by key stats from our report.

Most Expensive Metro Areas for Renters

  1. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

  2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

  3. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

  4. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA

  5. Urban Honolulu, HI

  6. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

  7. Napa, CA

  8. Naples-Marco Island, FL

  9. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

  10. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

Most Affordable Metro Areas for Renters

  1. Sioux Falls, SD

  2. Huntsville, AL

  3. Lake Charles, LA

  4. Wichita, KS

  5. St. Cloud, MN

  6. Fort Wayne, IN

  7. Ogden-Clearfield, UT

  8. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

  9. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR

  10. Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL


Key insights:

  • Flooded finances: Coastal living is costly — all 10 of our most expensive metros stand near the shore. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL (No. 2), has the highest share of cost-burdened renters, 62%. Urban Honolulu, HI (No. 5), bears the highest average overall rent price at $2,514.

  • Spending spectrum: Both one- and two-bedroom rentals are most expensive on average in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (No. 11). However, the area boasts a relatively low share of cost-burdened renters, considering many residents are well-paid tech workers. On the flip side, Lake Charles, LA (No. 170), offers the most affordable one- and two-bedroom rentals, with average prices of $615 and $819, respectively.

  • Hot spots: Recent influxes of new residents in Madison, WI (No. 97), Santa Fe, NM (No. 41), and Spartanburg, SC (No. 96), seem to be accelerating local rental market inflation. These metros saw a one-year increase of over 7% in average rental prices. 

  • Money on the move: Rental markets are cooling down in places like Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC (No. 71), Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN (No. 95), and Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ (No. 98), which were among the most popular (and priciest) moving destinations in recent years. While average prices are still high, overall rent has decreased in each of these metros — by over 4% in the Phoenix area, for example — over the past year.

  • Capital closures: Washington’s foreclosure moratorium ended in September 2022, leading to a home foreclosure boom. In fact, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (No. 9), had the highest increase in foreclosures since 2022. The rate in this area rose from 1 in 7,455 homes to 1 in 1,923, an increase of 287.68% — 111.82% higher than in Salem, OR (No. 42), which placed 2nd in this metric. 

  • Rental rollercoaster: Among the metros we ranked, 57 saw their average overall rent prices decrease over one year, with the average rent in Bremerton-Silverdale-Port Orchard, WA (No. 147), declining by over 12% — the most significant drop. Residents of Odessa, TX (No. 83), saw an increase of more than 21% but still pay the lowest overall average rent of $719 per month.