Paying up

Pricey Austin named among most expensive U.S. cities to rent a home

Pricey Austin named among most expensive U.S. cities to rent a home

apartment house for rent sign
Rents in the Austin area rose 19.2 percent from May 2021 to this May.  ejs9/Getty Images

As the Austin metro area has grown, so has the amount that local residents pay for rent. A new study clearly underscores that reality.

The study, published by the 24/7 Wall St. website, puts the median monthly rent in the Austin are at $1,326. Austin ranks 31st among all U.S. metros for the highest median rent. The only other Texas metro in the top 50 is Midland, where the median rent stands at $1,239. That puts Midland at No. 44 nationally.

According to Apartment List, rents in the Austin area rose 19.2 percent from May 2021 to this May. “This is the fifth straight month that the city has seen rent increases after a decline in December of last year,” Apartment List says.

Austin’s year-over-year rent growth exceeds the state average (14.8 percent) and national average (15.3 percent), according to Apartment List.

To determine the metros with the highest rent, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of median gross rent from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. The median gross rent across the U.S. is $1,096, the data analysis shows, while it ranges from $1,203 to $2,365 in the 50 biggest metros.

Not surprisingly, the San Jose metro area in Northern California tops 24/7 Wall St.’s list of the places with the highest median rent ($2,365). It’s followed by the San Francisco metro area ($2,021). They’re the only metros in the country where median rent exceeds $2,000 a month.

“Generally, the metropolitan areas with the highest rents tend to have higher household incomes. However, even after accounting for those higher incomes, rent in these places is less affordable than is typical across the country,” 24/7 Wall St. notes.