How much renters pay to live in the most expensive neighbourhoods in 9 major US cities — and in the most affordable

ShutterstockMission Bay is San Francisco’s most expensive neighbourhood.

  • Using data from RENTCafĂ©, we found the most expensive and most affordable neighbourhoods in nine major US cities.
  • The findings show a sharp contrast in rent across different neighbourhoods in the same city.
  • The average monthly rent in San Francisco‘s most affordable neighbourhood is higher than rent in the most expensive neighbourhoods of six cities on this list.

There’s arguably nothing as gruelling as searching for a new place to live – especially if you’re an urban-dwelling renter on a budget.

Rents as a percentage of income are at a historic high of 29.1%. It’s no surprise, then, that renters spent a record amount of money on housing in 2017, paying $US485.6 billion to landlords, Business Insider’s Akin Oyedele previously reported.

Still, many Americans are struggling to afford housing. New research from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that a minimum-wage worker needs 2.5 full-time jobs to afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment in most of the US.

Needless to say, the neighbourhood you live in matters when it comes to keeping your housing costs in check.

We recently compared the most expensive and most affordable neighbourhoods in nine major US cities using the average monthly rent data for all rentals from RENTCafé.

Not only did our findings highlight extreme differences across different neighbourhoods in the same city, they also emphasised just how high rent really is, even in some of the most affordable neighbourhoods.

Look at San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the country. The average monthly rent in its most expensive neighbourhood, Mission Bay, is $US4,060. In Hayes Valley, the city’s most affordable neighbourhood, the average monthly rent is $US2,764. That’s lower for San Francisco, but higher than the average monthly rent in the most expensive neighbourhoods of six cities on this list – Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Phoenix, and Washington, DC.

Manhattan has the most expensive neighbourhood overall, with average rents in TriBeCa at $US5,586. Of all the most affordable neighbourhoods, Houston‘s Greater Fifth Ward is the least expensive with an average rent of $US653.

Manhattan has the highest disparity of any city between its most expensive neighbourhood, TriBeCa, and most affordable neighbourhood, Washington Heights, with a $US3,411 difference.

Now, take a look at the most expensive and most affordable neighbourhood in each city.


Atlanta, Georgia

Google Maps; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Most expensive neighbourhood: Ansley Park

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US1,827

Most affordable neighbourhood: Browns Mill Park

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals: $US700


Chicago, Illinois

Google Maps; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Most expensive neighbourhood: River West

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US2,424

Most affordable neighbourhood: West Garfield Park

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals: $US759


Washington, DC

Google Maps; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Most expensive neighbourhood: West End Washington

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US2,577

Most affordable neighbourhood: River Terrace

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US1,101


Houston, Texas

Google Maps; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Most expensive neighbourhood: Greater Third Ward

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US1,865

Most affordable neighbourhood: Greater Fifth Ward

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals: $US653


Los Angeles, California

Google Maps; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Most expensive neighbourhood: Pacific Palisades

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US3,744

Most affordable neighbourhood: Glassell Park

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US1,390


Miami, Florida

Google Maps; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Most expensive neighbourhood: Brickell Key

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US2,451

Most affordable neighbourhood: Flagami

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US1,342


New York, New York

Google Maps; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Most expensive neighbourhood: TriBeCa

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US5,586

Most affordable neighbourhood: Washington Heights

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US2,175


Phoenix, Arizona

Google Maps; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Most expensive neighbourhood: Desert Views

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US1,180

Most affordable neighbourhood: Estrella Village

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals: $US756


San Francisco, California

Google Maps; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Most expensive neighbourhood: Mission Bay

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US4,060

Most affordable neighbourhood: Hayes Valley

Average monthly rent cost for all rentals:$US2,764

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