100 U.S. Cities With The Highest Rents

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Cities and big metro communities on the West and East coasts boast — or lament, depending on whether your sympathies lie with tenants or landlords — the highest monthly rents in the U.S., according to a new list as of the end of August.




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As the average monthly rent in the U.S. reached an all-time high of $1,412 in August — an increase of 3.1%, or $42, year over year — Manhattan, San Francisco, Boston, San Mateo and Boston neighbor Cambridge topped the roster of cities with America’s highest average monthly rents, with monthly tabs in those cities ranging from $3,124 to Manhattan’s $4,119, according to rentcafe.com.

All but nine of the 100 cities and communities with the highest rents had monthly tabs exceeding the overall U.S. average of $1,412.

Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA), AvalonBay Communities (AVB) and Camden Property Trust (CPT) are three publicly traded REITs that could benefit from rising rents. They are within buy zones.


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Silicon Valley’s San Mateo is about 20 miles south of San Francisco. The city of Cambridge overlooks Boston, which is across the Charles River. All of the top cities are in regions with hot economies.

Additional top-100 cities in the San Francisco-Silicon Valley region include Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose.

In the 100 communities with the highest average monthly rents, two Texas locales — Midland and Odessa — sported the biggest year-over-year increases in average monthly rents. Midland’s rose a staggering 31.9% to $1,595. Odessa’s jumped 30% to $1,365. Both rent rises were fueled by an influx of workers to the Permian Basin shale oil production region.

The highest-rents list includes communities that are part of larger municipalities but which have distinct identities and are popular destinations for renters, such as New York City boroughs Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

The list also includes a few towns, such as Davie, Fla. To be on the list, a municipality or community must have a population of at least 100,000 and at least 2,900 apartments in buildings with 50 or more units. Rent data is based on those apartments.

Rents rose in the U.S.’s 252 biggest cities and locales, compared to August a year earlier. They remained the same in 10% and fell in 1%.

In the largest cities and communities, the biggest percentage year-over-year rent gains were in Queens, 8.4%, Phoenix 6.8%, Las Vegas 6.2% and Charlotte, N.C.’s 5.2%.

A slowdown in apartment construction in many markets contributed to rising rents, rentcafe.com says.

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