Cities With the Highest Rent in the U.S.: August 2022

California has nearly half of the 100 cities with the highest rent in the U.S.

The cost of rent rose around the country in August 2022. But it didn’t increase evenly in all regions. The majority (60 percent) of the 100 cities with the highest rent in the U.S. are in the western part of the country. Of these western cities, most (81.7 percent) are in California.

In fact, the state of California had a higher concentration of these high-cost cities (49 percent) than the other three geographic regions combined. The South contained 26 percent of the most expensive cities for renters. Another 11 percent are in the Northeast. Just 3 percent of the 100 cities with the highest rent in the U.S. during this survey period are in the Midwest.

Financial pressures pile up for renters

Historically high prices and a lack of affordable housing options have forced many renters to stay in their current homes, increasing demand and diminishing supply to push rental home prices even higher. At the same time, cost of living increases and rising inflation force renters to stretch their household budgets to pay for essential expenses.

Renters who are able to move can migrate to more affordable communities and neighborhoods. The 2022 Renter Preferences Survey Report from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and Grace Hill reported that pandemic-related pressures were a factor in 25 percent of moves. But many renters don’t have the ability or resources to move to a more affordable location.

The 10 most expensive cities for renters

The 10 most expensive cities for U.S. renters in August 2022 are on the east and west coasts. Three are in the Northeast region (New York and Massachusetts, specifically). The remaining seven are in California.

New York City logged the highest rent in the U.S. in August 2022. Residents paid an average of $6,164.61 last month. That’s an 24.8 percent increase year-over-year.

It’s also $1,345.41 more than renters in the second city on this list, Palo Alto, CA, paid during the same survey period. Rents in this California city increased 23.2 percent year-over-year.

Boston residents paid the third highest rent in the country, an average of $4,563.51 per month. Two cities in the Boston Metro, Cambridge and Somerville, also cracked the Top 10. (A third, Quincy, came in at No 47.) Rents in city No. 6 (Cambridge), averaged $4,190.98 per month in August, an increase of 11.1 percent. Rent in Somerville (No. 10) increased by 25.6 percent during the same time period, averaging $3,859.77 monthly.

Two Bay Area cities, Oakland, CA, and San Francisco, come in fourth and fifth. Renters in Oakland paid an average of $146.80 more for rent in August than renters in San Francisco. But, Oakland rents increased by 11.3 percent last year, compared to a more manageable 3.9 percent rent hike in San Francisco.

In Southern California, the average rent in Santa Monica, rose nearly 5 percent during the year to the seventh highest rent in the U.S. Rents in Santa Monica averaged $4,038.40 last month.

The average rent price rose 8.5 percent last month in another California hot spot, Redwood City (No. 8). During the same period in San Diego, the ninth city on the list, rents rose 0.9 percent. Renters in both California communities paid just over $3,900 in August 2022.

The 100 most expensive cities in the U.S.

The Northeast and the West show up the most often in the Top 50 of the 100 most expensive cities for renters. Only California, New York and Massachusetts are represented until Seattle puts Washington on the list at No. 30.

The other geographic regions show up even lower on the list of the cities with the highest rent in the U.S. The Florida city of Boca Raton is the South’s first entry at No. 33. The Midwest doesn’t appear until halfway through when Chicago claims the No. 50 slot.

Southern cities appear with greater frequency as the list goes on, including Cary, NC which recorded the 83rd highest rent prices, but the second largest increase year-over-year at nearly 36 percent.

The West

The West is home to 60 percent of the most expensive rental markets in the country. The majority (49 out of 60) of these western cities are in California. Many are concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area and Orange County, as well as within the Los Angeles and San Diego metro areas. But California residents aren’t the only renters in the region facing high rent prices.

Colorado has four entries in the Top 100, but they’re all in the same metropolitan area. The state’s largest city, Denver, is No. 60. But, it actually costs just over $344 more per month to rent in Westminster, the No. 43 city on the list. Two other Denver suburbs, Lakewood and Aurora, come in at No. 91 and No. 98.

Two Washington communities made the list of the 100 cities with the highest rent in the U.S. They include Seattle (No. 30), where rent increased 22.2 percent, and Vancouver (No. 97).

Vancouver is technically in Washington, but it functions as a suburb of Portland, OR (No. 66). Rent in Vancouver ticked up 6.5 percent in August. That’s more manageable than Portland’s nearly 60 percent rent increase during the same time period. Average rent prices also jumped 22.4 percent in nearby Hillsboro (No. 57), another city in the Portland Metropolitan Area.

Boise, ID, (No. 99) and Sparks, NV, (No. 83) accounted for their states’ only appearances on the Top 100 most expensive cities for renters. A pair of Arizona cities made the list, too. Both Gilbert (No. 65) and Scottsdale (No. 75) are in the Phoenix Metro. The average rent price went up nearly 22 percent year-over-year in Gilbert.

The South

Just over a quarter (26 percent) of the 100 cities with the highest rent in the U.S. are in the South.

Rents in the 13 Florida cities on this list are in flux. August rent prices fell 36.5 percent in Fort Lauderdale, 4.0 percent in West Palm Beach, and nearly 7 percent in Miami in August 2022. In contrast, renters paid nearly 29 percent more for rent in Coral Springs and 21.1 percent more in Boca Raton during the same time period.

Rising suburban rent prices continued throughout the South. Renters in the Raleigh, NC, suburb of Cary (No. 84), paid nearly 36 percent more for rent last month.

Rents also went up 20.4 percent in Sandy Springs, GA, pushing the Atlanta suburb up into the No. 96 spot. Atlanta itself landed at No. 87. Which means it’s currently cheaper to rent in the city than in another of its suburbs, Alpharetta (No. 82).

Several Maryland suburbs showed August rent increases, too. In No. 85, Gaithersburg, rent shot up 6.3 percent. Rents in Rockville (No. 67) increased 10.4 percent during the same time period.

Nearby Alexandria saw a price hike of 16.7 percent. It’s technically in Virginia, but all three cities are part of the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria Metropolitan Statistical Area. Rent prices rose by 13.5 percent in a final Maryland community, the Baltimore suburb of Annapolis.

The Dallas suburb of Plano (No. 88) saw rent rise 10.0 percent in August. Rents in a second suburb, Frisco (No. 94), decreased just 2.2 percent. Tennessee and South Carolina each logged a city in the Top 100.

The Northeast

New York is the most expensive city for renters. But only 11 of the cities with the highest rent in the U.S. in August 2022 are found in the Northeast region. They include Boston and its suburbs, Quincy, Somerville and Cambridge, which were detailed in the Top 10.

In addition to the No. 1 entry, New York has three more cities on the list. They include New Rochelle (No. 19), where rents rose just over 40 percent year-over-year, Yonkers (No. 38), where rents dropped nearly 4 percent, and White Plains (No. 22), where rents rose just over 2.5 percent. The remaining Northeastern cities on the list are Philadelphia (No. 81) and Allentown (No. 86) in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., which comes in at No. 54.

The Midwest

The Midwest is a bargain for renters. In fact, 35 of the 100 cheapest cities for renters are in the region. Only three of the 100 most expensive rental markets in the Midwest.

The region’s largest city, Chicago (No. 50), is the most expensive. Chicago renters paid an average of $2,801 a month in August. That’s not cheap, but it’s $3,363.61 less than the average rent in New York. And, it’s around 40 percent less than Palo Alto, which has the second highest rent in the U.S.

Rent prices increased slightly in Detroit (No. 89) and decreased in Plymouth, MN, (No. 93), a Minneapolis suburb. Average rent in both cities hovered around $2,000 in August.

The Takeaway

Renters in New York City, the Boston metro and in cities throughout California continue to pay some of the highest rents in the country. Double-digit rent increases, the high cost of living and rising inflation throughout the country make this a challenging season for renters.

RankStateCityPopulationRent All Units, 2022Rent All Units, 2021YoY % ChangeDollar Diff, All Units
1NYNew York8,336,817$6,165$4,94024.80%$1,225
2CAPalo Alto65,364$4,819$3,91123.22%$908
5CASan Francisco881,549$4,251$4,0913.93%$161
7CASanta Monica90,401$4,038$3,8474.97%$191
8CARedwood City85,925$3,920$3,6158.45%$306
9CASan Diego1,423,851$3,917$3,8840.85%$33
13CAAliso Viejo50,887$3,739$3,5684.78%$171
14CANewport Beach84,534$3,732$4,186-10.85%-$454
16CAMountain View82,739$3,633$3,760-3.37%-$127
18CALos Angeles3,979,576$3,474$3,987-12.86%-$513
19NYNew Rochelle78,557$3,436$2,44040.81%$996
22NYWhite Plains58,109$3,385$3,2992.59%$86
23CASan Jose1,021,795$3,358$2,97312.95%$385
24CASanta Clara130,365$3,333$3,834-13.06%-$501
27CACosta Mesa113,003$3,279$2,53229.48%$746
31CASan Mateo104,430$3,192$3,0883.38%$104
33FLBoca Raton99,805$3,160$2,60921.10%$550
34CALake Forest85,531$3,069$2,9175.21%$152
35CAHuntington Beach199,223$3,057$2,9702.94%$87
39CAPalm Desert53,275$3,010$2,9093.48%$101
40CASanta Ana332,318$2,996$3,041-1.48%-$45
49CAMission Viejo94,381$2,839$2,7632.74%$76
51CAUnion City74,107$2,800$2,45813.90%$342
52FLWest Palm Beach111,955$2,798$2,914-3.99%-$116
55CARancho Cucamonga177,603$2,695$3,083-12.60%-$388
56CAChino Hills83,853$2,680$2,870-6.59%-$189
61CAMoreno Valley213,055$2,554$2,4245.40%$131
63CASan Leandro88,815$2,525$2,19914.83%$326
64FLBoynton Beach78,679$2,510$2,554-1.76%-$45
68FLPalm Beach Gardens57,704$2,481$3,233-23.24%-$751
74SCMount Pleasant91,684$2,363$2,1509.92%$213
76FLCoral Springs133,759$2,350$1,82528.79%$525
77FLFort Lauderdale182,437$2,317$3,647-36.49%-$1,331
90CACitrus Heights87,796$2,082$1,83513.44%$247
95FLFort Myers87,103$2,064$2,204-6.36%-$140
96GASandy Springs109,452$2,041$1,69520.39%$346

Survey methodology

We pulled data from Rent.’s multifamily rental property inventory for one- and two-bedroom units between August 2021 and August 2022 to determine the 100 cities with the highest rent in the U.S. A single measure of price for all unit types per time period was calculated using a weighted average based on the number of available units. The resulting amount for August 2021 was subtracted from the amount for August 2022 to determine the dollar difference in rents over the past month.

Cities without sufficient inventory were excluded. The top 100 cities in our analysis were determined by U.S. Census Bureau population estimates.

The geographic regions

The regions detailed include the four geographic regions determined by the U.S. Census. These regions include the Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont) as well as the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin).

The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, District of Columbia and West Virginia are included in the South. The West includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

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