These 20 Cities Cost Single-Family Home Renters The Most Last Month
While median SFR asking rent crept upward (just $5!) in August, data shows that prices remained relatively stable nationwide. That said, if you live in one of these 20 expensive cities, don’t expect a break from your landlord.
Los Altos, CA (September 2023) - After enduring Earth’s hottest summer - and hottest August - on record, it’s hard to muster the motivation to get moving. Go for a run or bike ride? Forget it. Mow the lawn? Nah. (It’s shriveled to a crisp, anyway.) How about a nice, refreshing swim? Well, only if it doesn’t require a long schlep to the pool. Even landlords, it seems, could find the energy to raise single-family home rents only a few measly dollars last month.
Okay, fine—heat waves don’t really have an impact on asking rent. But according to Dwellsy CEO and cofounder Jonas Bordo, August’s data for single-family rental homes (SFRs) moved about as sluggishly as most sweltering Americans.
“Normally we’d expect to see rents rise steadily throughout the summer, which is peak moving season, before declining in the fall,” explains Bordo, coauthor along with Hannah Hildebolt of Everything You Need to Know About Renting But Didn’t Know to Ask: All the Insider Dirt to Help You Get the Best Deal and Avoid Disaster (Matt Holt, August 2023, ISBN: 978-1-6377439-2-8, $21.95). “But this year, SFR median asking rents increased just 0.3 percent, or $5, from July to August. That’s after they decreased 0.3 percent from June to July—meaning that overall, this summer’s SFR rents have stayed completely flat.”
Year-over-year asking rent has showed a little more movement, increasing 5.6 percent, or $100, since August 2022. Still, points out Bordo, that’s more or less in line with inflation. And it’s a far cry from some of the eye-popping price surges renters have dealt with over the previous two years. (Since January 2021, three-bedroom SFR rent has increased 24.9 percent.)
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Some markets have seen SFR prices rise quite a bit due to increased demand, while others have a consistently high cost of living.
Bordo believes that providing accurate and timely rental data is a crucial service for renters, landlords, cities, and organizations connected to the rental industry. To that end, Dwellsy regularly mines its 14+ million residential rental listings for statistics and data. Because the rental platform allows landlords to post listings free of charge, it has a pool of data that’s more diverse—and more representative of the true rental landscape—than that of pay-to-play listing services. Each month, Dwellsy breaks down this data regionally across 250 U.S. markets.
“Without current data, it’s difficult for renters to accurately gauge developing trends, determine affordability in their area, and plan for the future,” says Bordo. “In compiling this list of most expensive cities for single-family home rentals, we’ve focused on three-bedroom homes because they are by far the most common rental home type.”
For a more detailed look at Dwellsy’s rent price analysis methodology, see this article.
Here, Bordo shares which cities are currently most expensive for single-family home renters:
Top Ten Most Expensive Large Cities for Three-Bedroom Single-Family Home Rentals
If you’re moving to the Los Angeles metro area and hope to find a cute rental home, you might want to think again. With a median asking rent of $4,000, a three-bedroom SFR might seriously stretch—or exceed—your budget. But on the bright(ish?) side, rent in LA has stayed flat since August 2022.
“You might not have much luck finding a more affordable SFR in other California cities, either,” warns Bordo. “Half of the markets on this list are located in the Golden State, including second-place San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara.”
But don’t discount the East Coast entirely. Fifth-place Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts, has seen a 10.2 percent year-over-year increase in asking rent, a rate that’s nearly double that of the nation as a whole.
This table shows which large cities had the most expensive August 2023 asking rent for three-bedroom single-family homes.
|Rank||Metropolitan Statistical Area||Median Three-Bedroom Single-Family Home Asking Rent, August 2023||Change Since August 2022|
|1||Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA||$4,000||0.0%|
|2||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||$3,900||+ 4.0%|
|3||San Francisco-Oakland- Fremont, CA||$3,724||+ 0.6%|
|4||San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA||$3,595||+ 2.7%|
|5||Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH||$3,300||+ 10.2%|
|6||Honolulu, HI||$3,224||+ 1.1%|
|7||Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL||$3,210||- 8.3%|
|8||New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA||$2,838||+ 5.1%|
|9||Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA||$2,800||+ 3.7%|
|10||Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||$2,775||+ 2.8%|
Top Ten Most Expensive Small Cities for Three-Bedroom Single-Family Home Rentals
Sorry, residents of Naples-Marco Island, Florida. Year-over-year SFR prices are up 1.5 percent. If rents had continued the downward trajectory they displayed last month, you…well, you’d probably still be in first place. Rents in second-place Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California, would have to rise nearly $600 to catch up.
“Six of these ten markets are in California,” points out Bordo. “And the rest are popular resort towns. Whether in the mountains or by the sea, there’s a high demand for rental homes near great amenities and attractions. Four of these markets have year-over-year rent increases higher than the national rate of 5.6 percent.”
This table shows which small cities had the most expensive August 2023 asking rent for three-bedroom single-family homes.
|Rank||Metropolitan Statistical Area||Median 3-Bedroom Single Family Home August 2023 Asking Rent||Change Since August 2022|
|1||Naples-Marco Island, FL||$4,061||+ 1.5%|
|2||Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA||$3,500||+ 2.9%|
|3||Salinas, CA||$3,498||- 1.5%|
|4||Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA||$3,225||+ 4.2%|
|5||Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA||$3,200||+ 10.3%|
|5||San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA||$3,200||+ 8.5%|
|7||Vallejo-Fairfield, CA||$2,797||+ 7.6%|
|8||Boulder, CO||$2,788||+ 7.2%|
|9||Flagstaff, AZ||$2,550||+ 4.1%|
|9||Bozeman, MT||$2,550||- 3.8%|
“Nationwide, demand for single-family rental homes remains high, so I don’t see any major price declines on the horizon,” concludes Bordo. “However, it is normal for rents to edge downward a bit as summer transitions to fall, so SFR-dwellers may have a small back-to-school rent break to look forward to. Only time will tell!”
About Jonas Bordo:
Jonas Bordo is the coauthor, along with Hannah Hildebolt, of the book Everything You Need to Know About Renting But Didn’t Know to Ask: All the Insider Dirt to Help You Get the Best Deal and Avoid Disaster. He is the CEO and cofounder of Dwellsy, the free residential rental marketplace that makes it easy to find hard-to-find rentals.
About the Book:
Everything You Need to Know About Renting But Didn’t Know to Ask: All the Insider Dirt to Help You Get the Best Deal and Avoid Disaster (Matt Holt, August 2023, ISBN: 978-1-6377439-2-8, $21.95) is available from major online booksellers.
Dwellsy is the renter’s marketplace: a comprehensive residential home rentals marketplace based on the radical concept that true, organic search in a free ecosystem creates more value than the pay-to-play model embraced by all of the current rental listing services.