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4 most expensive US cities to rent a house

These following cities not only are popular choices for people looking for houses to rent but also are the most expensive in terms of rental prices.




Due to popularity and name recognition, the most desired cities on the list are also expensive. Rent costs are forcing residents and migrating outsiders to rent a house in an affordable town over a place they love. It’s a bittersweet decision, but your wallet, rental property, and peace of mind will thank you.

The information originated from US rental lists across the web. The four cities mentioned entered the top five on 90% of the lists as of June 2017. These cities also remained on most lists dating back to 2013.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco houses

Rent prices in San Francisco start at $3,000. (Photo by Ian Ransley via Flickr. CC BY 2.0)

With walkable amenities and coastal beaches, this western city is an alternative dream to Los Angeles. Thanks to skyrocketing demand in the technology and arts industries, the influx of creative individuals migrating isn’t stalling. Consequently, the Bay Area is seeing a rise in rental housing because of it, and renters are feeling the pinch. Furthermore, San Francisco is leading the charge. For a one-bedroom house, the price is between $3,200 and $3,600. It is the only city on this list to start rental prices at $3,000.

New York, NY

New York City apartments

A house with one bedroom can cost from $2,200 to $3,400. (Photo by Norbert Nagel via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0)

It’s a dream city for actors, magazine writers, advertisers, fashion designers, and tourists, but with many sharing this sentiment, something has to give. The 8,000,000+ residents encourage property owners to raise the rent across New York City. A one-bedroom house ranges from $2,200-$3,400. The five boroughs make it tough to pin down a smaller range in the cost of a one-bedroom house due to each one’s distinct neighborhood vibe. While some contain low rent prices, consider the neighborhood before selecting a place to rent a house.

Washington, DC

Washington, D.C. houses

Renters can expect a price range of $2,100-$2,200 when they look for houses in Washington, D.C. (Source)

Located between Maryland and Virginia, our nation’s capital attracts powerful government, political, and military officials as well as tourists adoring the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. Unfortunately, the professional prestige and attraction come at a high cost. A one-bedroom house in Washington, DC will cost renters the smallest range on this list: $2,100-$2,200. Renters who expect to rent for less than the range provided can expect to give up neighborhood safety in return.

Boston, MA

Boston houses

If you want to rent a house in Boston, prepare to shell out at least $2,000. (Source)

The Boston Marathon, prestigious colleges, premier hospitals, great eateries, cold weather, and recognizable sports teams are adequate for residents and outsiders alike. The influx stemming from these opportunities influenced the high rental cost, unfortunately, and the results are staggering. A one-bedroom house in Boston, Massachusetts is $2,000-$2,350. Renters moving into the city should come equipped with enough money for rent and cost of living in case a job isn’t available right away.

Honorable Mentions

California cities San Jose and Los Angeles receive honorable mentions for their expensive rental housing. A one-bedroom house in San Jose ranges from $2,200-$2,600. San Jose, a city within the San Francisco Bay Area, is skyrocketing in rent due to being the center of Silicon Valley.

Despite Los Angeles being a US tourist attraction on everyone’s bucket list, the rental costs for a one-bedroom house range from $1,900-$2,100. While more expensive than most cities, it’s less expensive than San Jose and the four mentioned before it.

This article isn’t encouraging residents and outsiders to rent a house elsewhere. It’s simply a revelation about how popularity and name-recognition influence rental costs. In closing, agents should offer honesty and realism about rental prices to renters so there’s no sticker shock. However, allow buyers the final say.

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Tonya Jones Reynolds is a freelance writer specializing in real estate, marketing, and money articles for Born2Invest. Some past and present companies she writes for include Blogmutt, YouQueen, Blasting News, Reflect & Refresh, Inman News,, and Textbroker. With 7+ years of experience as a freelance writer, she joined Born2Invest as a contributor to help readers make good decisions about their financial and professional lives.