Rents in the USA: from the Priciest ZIP Codes to the Cheapest

Rents in Chicago’s toniest ZIP codes are practically reasonable compared to the craziness elsewhere.

OK, this is mind-boggler of a juxtaposition: The most expensive ZIP code to rent an apartment in is 10282, which covers Battery Park City, stretching along the Hudson River at the southern tip of Manhattan, where the average rent has soared 12% over the past 12 months to $6,211. And the cheapest ZIP code to rent in is 67213, which is in Wichita, KS, where the average rent has remained flat over the past 12 months at $423.

These are the two ends of the spectrum in a report by RentCafe, based on data by Yardi Matrix, on rents in large apartment properties with at least 50 rental units. Rents at properties with fewer than 50 units are not included. Also not included are ZIP Codes with less than 200 rental units or less than three rental properties with 50+ units.

The Cheapest 50 ZIP codes.

The average rent in the 10 cheapest ZIP codes ranges from $423 to $429. There are 50 ZIP codes where the average rent is below $600, including 10 in Ohio, 9 in Kansas, and 8 in Tennessee.

My former hometown, Tulsa, has a couple of ZIP codes on that list (#41 and #42). Once upon a time, Tulsa was the booming “Oil Capital of the World” until all the oil companies moved to Houston during the oil bust in the 1980s, which triggered a long-lasting economic depression in the city. Oklahoma has a total of five entries on the list.

Some other ZIP codes on this list of the Cheapest 50 Rental ZIP Codes are in cities with similar fates – once booming towns until some major industries packed up and left, shriveled, or died (if your smart-device clips the right column, hold it in landscape position):

ZIP Code City State Average Rent Change Y-o-Y
1 67213 Wichita KS $423 0.0%
2 38106 Memphis TN $471 2.7%
3 67211 Wichita KS $472 1.7%
4 67218 Wichita KS $491 4.8%
5 67204 Wichita KS $500 2.2%
6 35601 Decatur AL $504 5.9%
7 38114 Memphis TN $516 4.3%
8 38127 Memphis TN $517 3.7%
9 72067 Jacksonville AR $520 -0.4%
10 48420 Clio MI $529 1.9%
11 37777 Louisville TN $532 6.2%
12 67501 Hutchinson KS $535 -1.9%
13 35810 Huntsville AL $539 6.0%
14 67210 Wichita KS $545 0.9%
15 72301 West Memphis AR $547 2.4%
16 63137 Saint Louis MO $548 -1.6%
17 43611 Toledo OH $551 -1.4%
18 46809 Fort Wayne IN $552 1.5%
19 43612 Toledo OH $557 2.4%
20 43609 Toledo OH $560 6.9%
21 67217 Wichita KS $561 4.9%
22 44420 Girard OH $562 3.9%
23 46816 Fort Wayne IN $564 3.0%
24 67216 Wichita KS $569 3.2%
25 35611 Athens AL $572 8.8%
26 43613 Toledo OH $575 2.5%
28 35805 Huntsville AL $576 7.8%
27 43607 Toledo OH $576 1.5%
29 44505 Youngstown OH $576 3.2%
30 44406 Canfield OH $578 1.0%
31 72209 Little Rock AR $579 -0.3%
33 67203 Wichita KS $581 3.2%
32 44485 Warren OH $581 3.2%
34 31903 Columbus GA $582 11.1%
35 38109 Memphis TN $583 3.7%
36 73109 Oklahoma City OK $584 4.4%
37 38116 Memphis TN $584 3.6%
38 48234 Detroit MI $585 2.5%
39 45406 Dayton OH $587 2.1%
40 37803 Maryville TN $587 4.0%
41 74116 Tulsa OK $588 6.3%
42 74129 Tulsa OK $588 2.8%
43 38118 Memphis TN $589 5.9%
44 31204 Macon GA $592 1.4%
45 46550 Nappanee IN $593 5.8%
47 85711 Tucson AZ $594 4.7%
46 48503 Flint MI $594 2.3%
50 49107 Buchanan MI $597 0.7%
48 73127 Oklahoma City OK $597 2.2%
49 74006 Bartlesville OK $597 -2.8%

On the other hand, at the dizzying top…

Of the most expensive 50 ZIP codes in terms of average rent in apartment properties with 50+ units, 26 are in Manhattan (Manhattan has a total of 38 ZIP codes). Battery Park City (10282) is the most expensive rental ZIP code in the US with an average rent of $6,211. In the map (via Google) below, it’s the area to the left of the red line, bordered by the Hudson River, the World Trade Center, and Tribeca (10013), the second most expensive ZIP code in the US with an average rent of $5,327:

New York City has two ZIP codes at the bottom of the most-expensive-50 list that are not in Manhattan: one in Brooklyn and one in Queens.

Los Angeles, has four ZIP codes on this list, including 4th and 5th place overall: Top entry (90024) is Westwood, next to Beverly Hills, with an average rent of $4,944. LA’s second most expensive ZIP code (90048) includes part of West Hollywood and Beverly Grove, with an average rent of $4,896.

The San Francisco Bay Area has 14 ZIP codes on this list, four of them in the City of San Francisco, including the Bay Area’s top entry (94105), with an average rent of $4,858. This ZIP code – the 6th most expensive in the US – is in the South of Market Area of towers, including the infamous Millennium Tower, a high-end condo building that is sinking unevenly into Bay mud and is leaning disconcertingly. The ZIP code also includes the building of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Boston has four ZIP codes toward the bottom of this top-50 list. Its top entry (02210), in 32nd place overall, is in the Seaport District, with an average rent of $4,048.

And that’s it – just New York City, Los Angeles county, the Bay Area, and Boston. No other place made it on the list of the 50 Most Expensive Rental ZIP codes (if your smart-device clips the right column, hold it in landscape position):

ZIP Code City Average Rent Change Y-o-Y
1 10282 Manhattan, NY $6,211 12.4%
2 10013 Manhattan, NY $5,327 -0.8%
3 10023 Manhattan, NY $5,053 5.4%
4 90024 Los Angeles, CA $4,944 4.1%
5 90048 Los Angeles, CA $4,896 3.7%
6 94105 San Francisco, CA $4,858 4.1%
7 10065 Manhattan, NY $4,777 -6.1%
8 10002 Manhattan, NY $4,666 2.8%
9 10025 Manhattan, NY $4,646 1.6%
10 10028 Manhattan, NY $4,642 3.7%
11 94158 San Francisco, CA $4,614 5.3%
12 10069 Manhattan, NY $4,605 9.9%
13 10024 Manhattan, NY $4,600 0.5%
14 10014 Manhattan, NY $4,590 4.4%
15 10001 Manhattan, NY $4,543 2.0%
16 10011 Manhattan, NY $4,462 2.6%
17 10038 Manhattan, NY $4,434 5.6%
18 10022 Manhattan, NY $4,401 0.3%
19 10010 Manhattan, NY $4,389 2.5%
20 10026 Manhattan, NY $4,386 2.0%
21 94925 Corte Madera, CA $4,362 2.3%
22 10003 Manhattan, NY $4,323 1.4%
23 10029 Manhattan, NY $4,184 7.0%
24 10036 Manhattan, NY $4,147 3.4%
25 94063 Redwood City, CA $4,129 4.2%
26 90232 Culver City, CA $4,118 3.5%
27 10019 Manhattan, NY $4,116 7.2%
28 10128 Manhattan, NY $4,108 -0.6%
29 94025 Menlo Park, CA $4,102 10.8%
30 94107 San Francisco, CA $4,091 3.4%
31 10016 Manhattan, NY $4,055 2.2%
32 2210 Boston, MA $4,048 6.1%
33 10018 Manhattan, NY $4,044 1.7%
34 10021 Manhattan, NY $3,928 3.4%
35 94404 San Mateo, CA $3,927 6.5%
36 2111 Boston, MA $3,922 4.1%
37 94043 Mountain View, CA $3,911 5.4%
38 94103 San Francisco, CA $3,887 0.7%
39 2116 Boston, MA $3,815 4.6%
40 2114 Boston, MA $3,806 8.4%
41 90292 Marina Del Rey, CA $3,804 2.5%
42 10009 Manhattan, NY $3,790 1.0%
43 90401 Santa Monica, CA $3,787 1.1%
44 95014 Cupertino, CA $3,782 1.7%
45 90094 Los Angeles, CA $3,735 -0.6%
46 11101 Queens, NY $3,723 3.0%
47 10006 Manhattan, NY $3,712 11.0%
48 94085 Sunnyvale, CA $3,699 4.4%
49 11201 Brooklyn, NY $3,699 4.3%
50 94040 Mountain View, CA $3,693 1.7%

What about rents in Chicago?

The most expensive ZIP codes in Chicago are not all that expensive compared to the most expensive ones in New York City, Los Angeles, or the Bay Area. Chicago’s top two entries (60606 and 60654) with an average rent of $2,770 and $2,761, are less than half as pricey as Battery Park City in Manhattan. Chicago’s top entry straddles Wacker Drive and the South Branch of the Chicago River. Part of the ZIP code is in the Loop. This is a great area, for less than half the price of Battery Park, and a good chunk cheaper than California’s toniest ZIP codes, and a lot cheaper too than Boston’s top ZIP code.

The list shows the 10 most expensive ZIP codes for rents in Illinois. Nine of them are in Chicago, and #10 is in the Chicago metro area.

ZIP Code City Average Rent Change Y-o-Y
1 60606 Chicago, IL $2,770 4.6%
2 60654 Chicago, IL $2,761 5.2%
3 60611 Chicago, IL $2,679 5.7%
4 60601 Chicago, IL $2,616 5.0%
5 60622 Chicago, IL $2,553 3.5%
6 60605 Chicago, IL $2,459 4.4%
7 60642 Chicago, IL $2,445 4.5%
8 60607 Chicago, IL $2,436 3.0%
9 60661 Chicago, IL $2,293 5.2%
10 60010 Barrington, IL $2,267 1.3%

Texas.

The ZIP code with the highest rents in Texas is in Austin (78701) at $2,885, out-pricing Chicago’s top entry. The second most expensive ZIP code is in Dallas (75205). At $2,791, it’s right there with Chicago’s top neighborhood. Of the top five ZIP codes in Texas, three are in Dallas and two in Austin, and finally Houston shows up in 6th place, with an average rent just over $2,000:

ZIP Code City Average Rent Change Y-o-Y
1 78701 Austin, TX $2,885 8.7%
2 75205 Dallas, TX $2,791 6.4%
3 78703 Austin, TX $2,634 7.1%
4 75225 Dallas, TX $2,451 5.9%
5 75201 Dallas, TX $2,088 1.6%
6 77005 Houston, TX $2,033 -1.1%
7 77006 Houston, TX $1,997 0.3%
8 77002 Houston, TX $1,970 0.4%
9 78702 Austin, TX $1,932 4.2%
10 75022 Flower Mound, TX $1,831 4.0%

Florida.

Rents in the most expensive ZIP codes in Miami and Fort Lauderdale are right there with the top in Chicago and Texas. Florida’s top entry (33131) stretches along Miami’s waterfront and includes the Brickell neighborhood and Brickell Key (man-made island), which are covered with high-end condo and apartment towers:

ZIP Code City Average Rent Change Y-o-Y
1 33131 Miami, FL $2,722 4.6%
2 33301 Fort Lauderdale, FL $2,679 -0.7%
3 33146 Miami, FL $2,486 -7.6%
4 33134 Miami, FL $2,312 -3.0%
5 33130 Miami, FL $2,248 2.6%
6 33122 Miami, FL $2,246 3.1%
7 33432 Boca Raton, FL $2,242 0.7%
8 33304 Fort Lauderdale, FL $2,233 -1.3%
9 33132 Miami, FL $2,219 4.7%
10 34236 Sarasota, FL $2,207 2.0%

On the surface, Miami’s condo market is in trouble. But beneath the surface, “the whole system is jammed up.” Read…  Miami Real Estate Is About To Collapse… This is About Condos, and it Would Be Funny if it Weren’t so Serious

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  72 comments for “Rents in the USA: from the Priciest ZIP Codes to the Cheapest

  1. 2banana
    Sep 27, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    $5,000-$6,000 per month for an apartment in swanky Manhattan. Plus utilities, maintenance, fees, taxes, doorman tips, furniture, whatever is in the lease, etc.

    Living in an extremely nice hotel nearby would be cheaper.

    And they make your bed!

    • SayWhat
      Sep 27, 2019 at 9:48 pm

      Dude an extremely nice hotel is $400-$600 nearby per night.

      More than double for the month.

    • Javert Chip
      Sep 27, 2019 at 10:15 pm

      Reality check:

      $15,000/mo at $500/night for “extremely nice hotel” – and all you get is a little, tiny single room.

      • 2banana
        Sep 27, 2019 at 10:31 pm

        Just went to the Marriott and Hilton web sites.

        $200-$300 per night all over Manhattan.

        And this is the price before you negotiate with the manager.

        And then the points start to add up.

        • Just Some Random Guy
          Sep 28, 2019 at 11:25 am

          2b,

          Sure that’s for a 200 sq ft room on the 3rd floor overlooking the HVAC units. No kitchen. Maybe a microwave and a coffee maker. Plus you have to remember to add in 20-25% tax to that rate. Do you need parking? $50/night.

          And that rate shoots up to $500/night for busy times like around Christmas, this past week when everyone comes in for the UN speeches, etc.

        • Sep 28, 2019 at 11:43 am

          Just Some Random Guy,

          “…a 200 sq ft room on the 3rd floor overlooking the HVAC units.”

          That’s funny. That’s the precise room we stayed in once :-]

        • Trinacria
          Sep 28, 2019 at 12:29 pm

          And…don’t they even turn down the comforter and put a chocolate on the pillow!!!

        • Zantetsu
          Sep 30, 2019 at 11:35 am

          Hey banana you are comparing apples to oranges. You have to look at the price of hotels in the exact area of the rents under consideration, not “all over manhattan”.

    • Nicko2
      Sep 28, 2019 at 7:24 am

      If you’re making a few hundred grand a year, plus your company pitches in part of the rent….it’s manageable.

    • Just Some Random Guy
      Sep 28, 2019 at 11:21 am

      I gather you’ve never stayed at an “extremely nice” hotel in NYC with that comment. A 3 star hotel is $250/night in Manhattan. Extremely nice goes for $500 and that’s a basic room. A suite is pushing $1000/night.

      • NBay
        Sep 28, 2019 at 2:49 pm

        So I’m really “impressed” by the “ability” to piss away money and planetary resources dialogue shown here.
        I tend to think of it as a mental illness, which left untreated will be the downfall of our species.

        • Oct 1, 2019 at 12:22 pm

          I feel like you’re conflating money and resources. One is real and finite, while the other can be conjured out of thin air by stuffed-shirt con artists.

    • RagnarD
      Sep 29, 2019 at 7:43 am

      I’ve found the best way To stay affordable, when visiting New York, is to stay at Super 8 or travel Lodge, etc. in North Bergen, new Jersey, where you can park your car if you have one for free, and then Uber/train/bus into the city as needed. These rooms can be had for <$100/ day. It’s NOT sleeping in Manhattan, but functionally its pretty close. And can easily b the Difference between being able and NOT able to Afford a several day trip to NYC for many ppl.

  2. JZ
    Sep 27, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Wow, LA and Boston rent is in deed going up!

    • Trinacria
      Sep 28, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      Seriously, the rents are indeed shocking. I’m not talking about the cheapest nor the most expensive, but in the middle range cities. So, my concern is the fact that we seem to be producing homeless people at a staggering rate – and this is must be a big factor. Anecdotally, I see nothing but tents on so many grassy areas near freeway ramps as well as panhandler in the People’s Republic of Portland. In fact, the number seems to be increasing. Society looses when we have so many people who have nothing to lose. Potential civil unrest really concerns me.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
        Sep 29, 2019 at 5:19 am

        As a society, we’ve decided that if we impoverish a few % down at the bottom, including taking anyone middle-class who’s had a ‘bobble’ in their life like a heart attack or car accident or who chooses to get cancer, and have ’em living under overpasses and on sidewalks etc., then the rest of us can keep the party going a bit longer.

        The trouble is, no one minds so much when it’s just a few hobos and your town’s ‘Wino Willie’, perhaps not even Wino Willie. But when you start eating up the working class and nipping into the middle class, people start to notice. This is why there’s so much hostility towards those without homes; it could be you!

        The opiate epidemic, alcohol being really pushed lately (‘Mommy’s favorite drink is wine’ and 57 types of beer being pushed these days) and new creations like legalizing pot and vapes being encouraged to everyone including high school kids, will result in some more down-and-outs due to lung, liver, etc diseases, but it may not be enough.

        So we’ll just go on, killing off people gradually further up from the bottom of the ladder, to keep the party going for the rest of us, until the revolution I guess.

    • van_down_by_river
      Sep 28, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      The cost of a used van and a health club membership (to shower and use restroom) is still pretty reasonable.

      Added bonus – no property taxes. You can pay for the firefighter pensions if you like but I’m staying out of it. I’ve never been on fire, never asked for their services (playing cards, lifting weights, trying out recipes all day) not interested in paying them a pension that amounts to more money than I earn working everyday.

      If you aren’t raising a family don’t pay family expenses (housing costs), live in a van man.

      • Sep 28, 2019 at 4:02 pm

        van_down_by_river,

        I meant to tell you some time ago but keep forgetting: If you haven’t done so already, watch the documentary “Free Solo.” It’s not only a fascinating nail-biter of a flick, and funny too, it’s also about this guy who lives in a van.

        He ends up climbing the 3,000-foot rock-wall of El Capitan (Yosemite) “free solo” – meaning alone and without ropes. No one has ever been stupid enough to do this before or after. As a professional climber, he makes “about as much money as a dentist,” as he says, and HE lives in a van, and you get to see it too, and then his girlfriend moves in with him, which provides some comic relief between the nail-biter sections.

      • Jest
        Sep 28, 2019 at 6:23 pm

        Exactly! I did that for the past 1 1/2 years , but ironically you don’t need a van. I have a 2002 toyota corolla and i threw out the pasenger seat and placed a board from dash to back seat which i also took out and its the best bed u can make! I am free! i can park many places and never get hasseled by people or cops. I see the stars and it’s like camping ..like a gypsy! I came up with the best poetry from living in this way and even painted it on my hood! But then about 3 months ago, it all changed.. when i meet this girl late at night with her three kids in an alley. They were in trouble so i needed to get them to a safe place and ended up renting a place here month to month for $550/mt. I wish i could go back to that life, as hard as it was at times in the hell heat, but now I fell in Love and they need my protection! Oh, my girlfriend and her three kids all have tails.

        • hidflect
          Sep 30, 2019 at 5:18 am

          sweet…

  3. alex
    Sep 27, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    I lived in the #2 most expensive 6 months ago and currently live in #27. (they’re right next to each other on a map)

    Honestly the salaries here are crazy, (150k+ less than 5 years outside of school in tech industry, not a FAANG), so all the numbers are high, but everything is relative. My salary/rent ratio is roughly 25%, splitting a 1 br evenly with my partner. 25% is higher than you want, but you get to live in the biggest city in the US, and the career growth is crazy. After a few years of this, I’ll get a position here, take it remote somewhere cheap (which might be my homestate of OH, which is on the cheap list a bunch)

    • Zantetsu
      Sep 30, 2019 at 11:41 am

      I am doing the same on the west coast. Rents are high, but wages are higher. I could also move back to my home state of OH and pretty much retire in a nice house immediately if I wanted to.

      I live in #48 on the map. Wonder how much more I would make, if any, living in NYC. I used to live in NYC in the early 2000’s, if I recall I made similar salary to what I had been making on the west coast. Software development in the bay area is more fun though. NY financial stuff is mind numbingly boring work.

  4. Josh
    Sep 27, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    Does this data also exist for home rental prices? I’m sure several Bay Area towns have higher average rental prices than the priciest NY rental zip code (albeit with less inventory and houses are much larger than apartments). BTW, I find that RENTCafe headline very deceiving as they only give the disclaimer that this is for apartment buildings at the bottom in small font. Thanks Wolf for giving the context up front.

    • Sep 27, 2019 at 11:00 pm

      Yes, rents can be apples and oranges. Renting a luxury mansion is not the same thing as renting a 2-BR in a luxury high rise.

  5. MCH
    Sep 27, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Wolf,

    Interesting, the data is set up in a way that it would exclude large swaths of better neighborhoods. For example, if you look at Sunnyvale, 94085 is actually not considered a better neighborhood, but it does have a proportionate larger number of apartment complexes. On the other hand, the area containing 94087 is technically better neighborhood, but contains significantly fewer apartments, so it doesn’t make the cut.

    Similarly, it’s hard to believe that Redwood City on the peninsula is so high up considering how much more expensive rent is on average in places like San Carlos, and Belmont right next door.

    I am curious though how the data would compare if it is done on a $ per sq ft basis, but not excluding all of the smaller apartment blocks and even houses. I would guess that it would show a different distribution.

    • Sep 28, 2019 at 10:44 am

      My ZIP code in SF didn’t make the cut either, though it includes Russian Hill, which would certainly make the cut and might land at the very top of the list, but it’s a big ZIP code that also includes most of the Tenderloin (which has some of those “feces and needles” spots you see trotted out on Zero Hedge). The Tenderloin brings down the average enough to where the ZIP code didn’t make the cut.

      On the other hand, Battery Park City doesn’t have that kind of variety (back in the day, we looked for an apartment there). So yes, ZIP codes that have a mix of neighborhoods rank lower on the list than ZIP codes that are purely high-end.

  6. Old-school
    Sep 28, 2019 at 3:16 am

    Speaking of rental rates, I am heading out at noon for a week with friends at a very nice residential beach in NC. Four br beachfront with covered deck overlooking beach rents for $1450 for the week.

    It’s a great deal this time of year especially with crowds gone, cooler temps and water still a nice 79 degrees. Going to try to do it again in about a month as you will have beach to yourself and fall temps.

    Zillow shows house about $250,000 and lot about $250,000. Drive one mile inland and lots are about $30,000 so beachfront premium is about $220,000.

  7. Dami
    Sep 28, 2019 at 6:19 am

    So the price listed are they one bed room or two bedrooms? I live in 60654 and look at the high part of it:

    http://www.thehudsonchicago.com/availability/

    $2700+ is only the average..

    – Long time lurker first time replier

    • Sep 28, 2019 at 10:32 am

      Average actual rents, across the spectrum, from efficiency on up.

      • John England
        Sep 30, 2019 at 7:27 pm

        Hi Wolf. Have you ever checked out the Heyjackass website, which chronicles the shootings and murders in Chicago by day, time and address? Likewise with Secondcitycop reporting the intrepid wildings on State Street, Mag Mile and CTA “L” lines. Even the “good” neighborhoods near downtown and the lake show up frequently. This has to impact the demand side for rents.

        • Sep 30, 2019 at 7:50 pm

          About 36,000 people get gunned down and killed every year in the US. About 100 per day, every day. This is happening just about everywhere, in some places worse than others. Americans have gotten used to it. It’s not even in the national media. The only thing that makes the national news are mass shooting, whose total victims might amount to about 100 a year.

  8. Petunia
    Sep 28, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Harlem(10029) is now in the top 50, too funny.

    • Michael Fiorillo
      Sep 28, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Gentrification in NYC is so extensive that virtually everywhere in Manhattan is now the Gold Coast.

    • Sep 28, 2019 at 11:14 am

      They have some beautiful old buildings there, whole neighborhoods of them, that just needed to be redone. Harlem was already up and coming when we lived in Manhattan (we left in 2002) though back then it still had a long ways to go.

  9. David Hall
    Sep 28, 2019 at 6:58 am

    The top 20 overpriced US real estate markets in terms of household income to median housing price (Price/Rent ratio):

    https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/05/where-the-house-price-to-income-ratio-is-most-out-of-whack/561404/

    As for low rents, an expat in Costa Rica paid $350/mo for a home and the city bus system is free for seniors 65+.

    • David Hall
      Sep 28, 2019 at 7:05 am

      Error: Price/Rent should be Price/Income

  10. Another Scott
    Sep 28, 2019 at 8:37 am

    Very interesting article. Note about Boston, you have the 02111 Zip Code as the seaport. That’s not really true. The seaport is part of South Boston between the Fort Point Channel and Boston Harbor. The 02111 zip code includes part of the Financial District and a stretch of the Waterfront from the Financial District to the North End. The wharfs aren’t actually part of the seaport, and the residence in them are likely the only ones in the zip code.

  11. vinyl1
    Sep 28, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I lived in 10011. Many people bought their apartments decades ago, have paid off their mortgages, and are paying coop maintenance fees of $600-1500 a month – that includes property tax. They don’t have need to have a car, either.

    When many buildings are full of people like this, the number of remaining spots is quite small.

    • raxadian
      Sep 28, 2019 at 10:32 am

      Give it a one or two decades, then people start to die and their kids start to offer the place for rent.

      Or they don’t and move to live there themselves.

      • vinyl1
        Sep 28, 2019 at 9:23 pm

        @raxadian – In a coop, you can’t do that – the Board wouldn’t allow it. The kids would have to sell the apartment, but at least they’ll get a basis step-up.

  12. cf
    Sep 28, 2019 at 10:09 am

    Funny the cities listed in the top and bottom are all dumps

    • KGC
      Sep 28, 2019 at 12:15 pm

      You know this how?

      Have you actually lived there? I have lived in and around a fair number of them, and they are not “dumps”. Yes, there are less affluent and poorly maintained areas nearby, but there are also wold class facilities you cannot find most places. And most of all, they are wealth generators.

      For example: Let’s compare Redwood City, CA to Joplin, MO. Both are moderately sized, and somewhat comparable in income to property price ratio. Redwood City has less crime, better weather, better schools, less pollution, and equal commuting time. Redwood City’s median income is $81,000/year; Joplin’s is $41,000/yr. Admittedly the cost of living is higher, but if you had bought a house in Redwood City 20 years ago, and invested 10% of your earnings, you could now sell out and move to a place (like Joplin, or Costa Rica, or Portugal, or Mobile Bay…) and live off the proceeds quite well. If you had done the same in Joplin, you’d be lucky to afford retiring and then only if the mortgage was paid off.

      Unless you really love Joplin (and there’s nothing wrong with that) you’d have been stupid not to move and make your money. Doing so opens up a lot more options…

  13. Ishkabibble
    Sep 28, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Remember Martin Shkreli?
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/martin-shkreli-who-raised-drug-prices-5-000-percent-heads-into-fraud-trial/

    Now that you understand how the “free market” works, imagine what’s going to happen if Trump signs an executive order requiring all of those hundreds of trillions of printed-out-of-thin-air US “dollars” to be “invested” within the US of A. What are the “owners” of those hundreds of trillions (if not quadrillions) of US “dollars” going to “invest” in?

    And after all of those “investors” “invest in” the US, how much “money” are you going to be paying for food, rent, mortgage, electricity, gas, oil, health care, drugs, road/bridge tolls, etc. (the absolute necessities of life)?

    Like the very “shrewd” Mr. Shkreli, no doubt they’ll let “free market competition” decide.

  14. Sep 28, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Seems like maybe the renters at the high end have an easier time making the payment than renters at the low end.

  15. breamrod
    Sep 28, 2019 at 10:59 am

    son went to school in Columbus ga. I remember thinking how cheap this place was to live compared to Atlanta. North Columbus is nice. The Alflac family is tryin to reinvent his old southern city and have pored millions into the downtown area.

  16. Citizen AllenM
    Sep 28, 2019 at 11:21 am

    So, now I have the evidence that JPM Chase may indeed be in a bit of liquidity crisis, or is renting out excess reserves at a nice profit:

    3-Month 0.02%
    6-Month 2.00%
    9-Month 1.75%
    12-Month 0.05%

    Quite the belly in that yield curve, folks.
    It was brought to my attention by my mother, who scored a 2% 6 month CD for $20k, and was asking me if she should dump more into it.
    FDIC sweet- and still available according the chase website.

    So, how is that for a sudden reversion to the old days?

    Something wicked this way comes, and that is a classic sign of a liquidity crisis taking hold.

    Of course, Brexit is off, riiiight?
    Impeachment?
    War in the ME?
    LoL

    What could possibly go wrong in this highly leveraged economy?

    • Sep 28, 2019 at 11:41 am

      I assume the interest rates you cite are CD interest rates that JPM is advertising. I have been seeing this type of thing ALL THE TIME for two years. Across the spectrum, a bank may pay out next to nothing on deposits, especially big banks, such as JPM or Wells Fargo, but to attract NEW customers and deposits, they advertise a teaser special, when you bring in new money.

      That special can be a savings account or a CD with a certain type of maturity. But the rest of their interest rates that they pay on hundreds of billions of deposits remain near nothing. This has nothing to do with a “liquidity crisis,” but is just normal banking where a bank is trying to minimize its cost of funding by keeping its interest rates low on deposits it already has and is offering teaser rates to attract new deposits and new customers. That’s how they do business.

      • Sep 28, 2019 at 2:26 pm

        My broker talked me into putting cash in their MM acct, which he says does not sweep overnight, and can offer better rates. He implied this change was going on industry wide that depositors were being ripped off. So if they do not sweep that means those deposits do not count as reserves? Brings up the Repo question. These MM accts are treasury which was the risk demarcation in 2008. This time around I do not believe Treasuries offer safety and I told him to move it back. A savings account with a stock symbol does not inspire confidence.

        • Sep 28, 2019 at 3:55 pm

          Just look at the interest rate (APR) currently. It will tell you how your MM account does, compared to a savings account.

          Make sure the MM account is FDIC-insured.

          My understanding is that now a MM account can “break the buck” if something goes wrong. This was one of the big issues during the Financial Crisis. New regulations removed that issue in order to reduce systemic risk to the system.

          Which means that if something does go wrong in the money market, your account might be worth 96 cents on the dollar, or something like that, even if it is FDIC insured. FDIC insurance only covers your principal due to bank failure, not if the principal in the MM account breaks the buck due to issues in the market. You get to eat that.

      • Citizen AllenM
        Sep 29, 2019 at 10:19 am

        They are long time customers. Regular CD, nothing indicating it was a promo.

        It was just fascinating to see a big bump like this.

  17. KGC
    Sep 28, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I think that pricing by square footage would alter the results, but probably not hugely. In fact, I think it would show even more distance between the growth areas and those in the mid-west, and between older and newer buildings.

    I’ve lived in every major area in the USA, and I’ve been priced out of the market in which I bought my first home (Pasadena, CA). But I like where I am now, and real estate prices are climbing enough that if I was to move again I probably wouldn’t be able to return. People in less “desirable” areas are falling behind in wealth accumulation and the other benefits of living in areas with larger disposable income. This has always been true, if you want to gain wealth you have to go where the money is. If you want and education, a good job, better health care, etc…

    This is not just a local or national paradigm. It holds true around the world. Life is better where it costs more (a generality I admit), and the longer you stay way from those areas the further behind you fall. Third world countries will never catch up to first world ones no matter how much change they go thru. Third level local economies will never catch up to the top level ones.

    • lordkoos
      Oct 1, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      “Life is better” only if you can afford to live in these areas you mention. The majority of Americans are stuck where they live or are being forced to move to cheaper places by rising rents or home prices.

  18. Just Some Random Guy
    Sep 28, 2019 at 11:43 am

    I lived in a few of those zip codes on the east coast. Adjusted for inflation, rents today are not significantly higher than when I was there in the late 90s, early 00s.

    I don’t know why people are shocked that living in NY, Boston, SF or DC is expensive. It’s always been expensive, it always will be expensive. See also Paris, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc.

    Also your cheapest lists are places you don’t want to live. Memphis 38114 is the type of place you don’t want to drive through at night. Let alone live there.

  19. unit472
    Sep 28, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Interesting that San Francisco’s two most expensive ( for rent) zipcodes are precisely where the down and out lived 30 years ago. Sleazy bars on the ground floor that opened at 6:00 AM ( and had customers in them) and flop house SRO hotels above. I used to take visiting friends down there just so they could see and listen to the parade of broken people wandering around.Even went into their bars for drinks! As the area got redeveloped with hotels and condos going up the flop house hotels disappeared and any low cost housing remaining was taken over by Community Housing Corporations whose rules did not accomodate the alcoholic who was on a bar stool by 7 o’clock in the morning or the schizoid who liked to walk around muttering dark threats. Now those kind of people just have to live on the sidewalks so other, richer people can have views in the sky.

  20. Pat
    Sep 28, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Left Boston and moved south , still make the same money it’s great. No need to ever go back and the weather here is actually nice

  21. Sep 28, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    “Whacker Drive” Good one, but actually it’s named after Charles Wacker, spelled thus.

  22. Old Codger
    Sep 28, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Grand-daughter is an attache’ to the UN for 3 years. Our government is paying the 2+ beds monthly rent at postcode 10016 of US$9999.

    The pics look nice.

    • panatomic-x
      Sep 28, 2019 at 10:33 pm

      the fed gov’t also pays $600/mo to park dhs cars in my building’s garage. the attendants tell me that they barely use them.

  23. Margaret Ann Drake
    Sep 28, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    18 years ago I worked as a ( very well educated) software engineer in the Shell bldg, 3 St., SF. I paid $1000 per mo for a bedroom on treasure island. A burrito was $7.50 from a hole in the wall stand soma.

    I quit after months of 70 hour workweeks, sleepless blinkouts, running out of frozen dinners and clean underwear, the dot com bust and then I had a stroke. My husband (5 th gen) farmer) insisted that he would drive me to work. Then, I started having seizures.

    I made $129,000 per year and paid off my house and 23 acres ovz winegrapes in Lodi, ca. The absolute end of the good times.

    The housing$$ and air pollution is a wreck even in far out Lodi. The 85 mile commute is a crawl all the way from the bay bridge to lodi then accelerating into the foothills.

    I am proud to have been part of (but glad to have gotten out alive ) the computer/internet revolution. We raised up the the world!

    But some stuff is not worth it. long, long, ugly story: Stay out of farming, stay out of software, stay out of California! If you are a woman: do not get married, do not have kids!

  24. Len
    Sep 28, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing details with zipcodes for the best areas to rent. This article was very insightful.

  25. panatomic-x
    Sep 28, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    i go by the iced coffee index. the price of a take iced coffee is now $5 at the fashionable places in 10013. that’s 2-3 times the price in 2008.

    • Sep 29, 2019 at 1:31 am

      I make iced espresso at home. It’s excellent and very cheap.

      Also at Starbucks in San Francisco, an espresso over ice is $2.25 if I remember right.

  26. Random Dude
    Sep 29, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Then you read that CPI it’s below 2%…

    • Sep 29, 2019 at 9:55 am

      The price of oil re-collapsed last fall. So energy prices fell sharply. Which brought CPI down. But excluding energy and food, CPI rose 2.4%

  27. Jim
    Sep 30, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Interesting article but the analysis is rudimentary at best. It is impossible to compare mere averages for any legitimacy. The average of 5 can be composed of 5 & 5 or 0 and 10, but are the two averages describe the same inputs? Obviously not. Similarly, the average in Battery Park is different than the average in Wichita. One has to look at the rent on per square foot basis after making adjustment for quality of finish, size, age, etc. It is likely the average units in Wichita are of inferior quality, among other things. Similarly, the Battery Park units may be larger on average, have superior finish, and rent may include secondary amenities such as gym, concierge, restaurant discounts and other intangible benefits. What about free rent adjustments? It may be customary in a market to include free rent, but still report market rent at asking price. However, the resulting effective rent is less. This is done to adjust the rents without lowering prices. Did the data bifurcate apartments versus condos? Since the 2008 recession, there were a number of condo projects that were built but never sold, and as a result converted to apartments. Condos typically have better finish and would rent for higher $/SF amount, thus skewing the data.

    Just some food for thought.

    • Sep 30, 2019 at 6:39 pm

      Junk food for indigestion?

  28. Oct 1, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Thank heavens for rent control! It’s totally working! Can’t wait to see what it does for Portland rents!

  29. Tim
    Oct 2, 2019 at 7:20 am

    I live in a flyover city and make 6 figures. My housing, traffic, and school situation is good.

    I’ll grab some popcorn and watch you coastal folks stress out about living

    • weinerdog43
      Oct 2, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Holy cow! Heisenberg lives!

      ;-)

  30. VintageVNvet
    Oct 2, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    moving from LA to berkeley in may 68, rent both places was $50 per month, in LA it was my share of a 3 bed 2 bath,,, in berkeley it was my own ”studio”,, perfect for a young single person… and i was able to get all the work i wanted at the student job center for $5/hour…
    Now, same place in berkeley is $2500/mo,, and students can earn, maybe, $20 per hour… NOT FAIR IMHO, and I hope We the People can figure out how to make it fair for all folks willing to work their way through college, etc…

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