In fact, Baltimore is a vibrant, growing East Coast metropolis bursting with museums, nightlife and history, as well as everything from stately townhomes to gleaming apartment towers for renters.
But what are the hottest neighborhoods for renters in B’More? To be sure, several are exactly the neighborhoods you’d expect, from Mount Vernon to the Inner Harbor.
To determine the most in-demand districts, we compared the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in every Baltimore neighborhood on Rent.com to prices in those same spots a year ago. From this, we determined the most expensive Baltimore neighborhoods where rent has increased the most in the last 12 months.
5. Mount Vernon
- Price increase over the past year: 2.05%
- Average rent for one-bedroom in Mount Vernon: $1,433
A direct line north of Inner Harbor and Downtown Baltimore, the historic neighborhood of Mount Vernon has one foot in the past and one in the future. It’s one of the cultural centers of Charm City filled with historic homes and beloved museums, but also one of the city’s top destinations for hip cafes and trendy eateries.
In 1815, Revolutionary War hero John Eager Howard donated the first public lands and parks of Mount Vernon surrounding the site where Baltimore’s Washington Monument — three decades older than the one 40 miles south in D.C. — was soon to be erected. Baltimore’s elite were drawn to the tree-covered neighborhood and constructed elegant townhouses around the park’s square.
Although a primarily residential neighborhood, some of Baltimore’s most cherished cultural landmarks dot Mount Vernon including the Walters Art Museum, George Peabody Library, Peabody Conservatory and Center Stage. And a myriad of stylish nightlife spots, cafes, bars and restaurants attract both local artists and musicians, as well as young professionals from downtown to dine and drink.
While popular for several decades, Mount Vernon has seen a recent uptick in demand. Rents in the last 12 months have pushed a bit higher, up 2 percent for a one-bedroom to an average of $1,433 a month.
- Price increase over the past year: 5.24%
- Average rent for one-bedroom in Tuscany – Canterbury: $1,273
The neighborhood of Tuscany-Canterbury at the north end of Baltimore’s urban spread may be small, but its suburban feel, convenient location and plethora of housing units have increased its demand over the last year.
The small community contains a population of only about 3,000 who reside along tree-lined blocks in a smattering of stately Tudor rowhouses and townhomes, as well as a number of mid-rise apartment buildings and premium condo towers.
While primarily residential, a bevy of cafes and restaurants sit inside several apartment buildings including Chupon chocolate shop, Indian spot Ambassador Dining Room, vegan cuisine One World Café and Mediterranean eatery Cypriana. And for recreation, the southern half of Stony Run Park lies on the west side of the neighborhood.
Directly across the street from the campus of Johns Hopkins University, Tuscany-Canterbury is a mix of young professionals, families, retirees and JMU grad students. Its proximity to the distinguished college, with some units offering views directly into the Blue Jays’ fabled lacrosse stadium, helps account for its popularity. Rent prices have risen 5.2 percent, with an average one-bedroom renting for $1,273 monthly.
- Price increase over the past year: 7.98%
- Average rent for one-bedroom in Northwestern Baltimore: $991
Northwestern Baltimore, or Northwest Baltimore, is a nebulous region of the city consisting of most of the area from Druid Hill Park and Leakin Park northwest to the Baltimore City/County line.
It comprises a number of well-known neighborhoods including Dorchester, Forest Park/Howard Park, Ashburton, Central Park Heights, Purnell, Gwynn Oak, Grove Park, Hanlon Park/Longwood, Cross Country, Arlington, Lucille Park, Pimlico, Fallstaff, Glen, Cheswolde and several others.
Northwest Baltimore is one of the most diverse constituencies in Maryland, including notable large African American and Orthodox Jewish communities, which often overlap. The majority of the region is filled with residential blocks consisting of single-family homes, neighborhood subdivisions and low-rise apartment complexes housing the nearly 80,000 inhabitants.
Cutting a swath through the area is a commercial corridor mostly situated along five or so miles of Reisterstown Road (State Route 140) from near the Maryland Zoo out to Fallstaff, with several shopping centers and national chain stores lining the route.
More standalone retail stores, restaurants and coffee spots can be found along Park Heights Road (State Route 129). A number of shops and stores can also be found around the Metro Subway’s five Northwest Baltimore stops, from Mondawmin station at the south end to Milford Mill in the north.
Several green spaces dot Northwestern Baltimore, as well, including Hanlon Park and Lake Ashburton, Powder Mill Park, portions of Leakin Park and the Forest Park Golf Course. And of course, the most famous landmark in all of Northwest Baltimore is Pimlico Racetrack, home to the Preakness Stakes, the second of horseracing’s Triple Crown, each May.
But as urban revitalization and demand hit Northwestern Baltimore, rental prices have increased over the last year. An average one-bedroom unit leases for $991 a month, an 8 percent increase from a year ago.
- Price increase over the past year: 12.07%
- Average rent for one-bedroom in Mid-Town Belvedere: $1,582
Located just north of prominent Mount Vernon and tucked inside the elbow of I-83, the cozy neighborhood of Mid-Town Belvedere is often overlooked. The district offers much of what Mount Vernon offers — stately townhouses, homey low-rise apartments, trendy eateries, buzzing cafes — but with fewer tourists and gawkers.
Not only are the cultural institutions and hip nightlife of Mount Vernon steps away, but the scene in Mid-Town Belvedere can certainly hold its own. The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore Theatre Project and the Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric are all located in the neighborhood, as is the campus of the small, urban 5,000-student University of Baltimore around the intersection of Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles.
The district is also home to the landmark Beaux-Arts style Belvedere Hotel, which dates back more than 115 years. While the neighborhood’s namesake went condo in 1991, its restaurants, 13th-floor observation deck and the legendary Owl Bar remain open to the public.
Convenient to downtown and Inner Harbor and adjacent to Amtrak’s Baltimore Penn Station, the neighborhood is popular with students from UB and Johns Hopkins’ Peabody School, young couples and urban professionals.
But the price of living in a locals-only neighborhood comes at a cost, with rents up over 12 percent from last year, to $1,528 a month on average for a one-bedroom.
1. Inner Harbor
- Price increase over the past year: 22.41%
- Average rent for one-bedroom in Inner Harbor: $2,311
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is just that: A downtown tourist district surrounding the harbor that encloses the northern branch of the Patapsco River. The neighborhood itself encompasses the land area along the riverside from Jones Falls to the bend at the Marine Center.
While nearby neighborhoods like Harbor East, Fells Point, Canton and Federal Hill have become much trendier in recent years, old reliable Inner Harbor proper — Cheesecake Factory, Hooters, the Ripley’s Museum and all — remains a popular and crowded place to be for both locals and thousands of tourists.
What Inner Harbor offers residents is convenience. Convenience to downtown, to fishing and boating, to the Power Plant Live! entertainment district, to lobster restaurants and harborside bars, to Fells Point and to Ravens and Orioles games.
Living in Inner Harbor isn’t for everyone, but for those that do, when the tourists flood the streets to stumble back to the hotel smelling of Old Bay from their crab shack dinner at the end of the day, your comfy bed is just steps away.
Along with the tourist chain restaurants and upscale shopping, there are several attractions in Inner Harbor always ready to delight even the most hardened Baltimorean, including the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Harborplace market and Port Discovery Children’s Museum.
For some cool marine history, numerous notable ships are moored on the waterfront including the USCGC Taney (the last surviving ship from Pearl Harbor), USS Torsk (the last ship to sink an enemy in World War II) and USS Constellation (the last Civil War ship still afloat).
Very few rental units exist in the Inner Harbor neighborhood proper, so those that come to market are in demand. And demand has been unusually high in the last 12 months, with a steep 22.4 percent rise in rents, up to a hefty $2,311 monthly average for a one-bedroom.
To create this list, Rent.com calculated rental pricing for an average one-bedroom unit from all Baltimore neighborhoods with sufficient available inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com, and ranked each to determine which neighborhoods contained the highest percentage increase from July 2018 to July 2019.
The current rent information included in this article is based on rates as of July 2019, for multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com and is for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.