The 25 Most Expensive Cities for Renters
Life + Leisure

The 25 Most Expensive Cities for Renters

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New Yorkers have a little something to celebrate this month. Sure, their city may still be blanketed by a layer of icy slush, with more snow on the way and temperatures heading back down to the teens. Things could be worse, though. They could be living in San Francisco.

For the ninth straight month, San Francisco tops the list of the most expensive rental markets in the country, beating New York by a considerable margin. The median rent for a one-bedroom home in San Francisco this month is $3,460 — the highest ever recorded, according to a report by real estate website Zumper. The median one bedroom in New York runs $3,000. The gap for two bedrooms is even larger, with San Franciscans paying a median price of $4,650, more than $1,000 above New York prices.

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On the other hand, the Big Apple had the four most expensive neighborhoods in the country, with rents for one-bedroom apartments in TriBeCa, NoMad, the Flatiron District and NoHo all approaching or topping $4,000 a month. San Francisco’s ritzy Russian Hill tied for fourth at $3,830 a month.

At the same time, being cheaper than San Francisco doesn't exactly make New York City affordable. A new analysis by StreetEasy found that the median rent for a New York apartment (which the site puts at $2,700 for this year) represents 58.4 percent of the median income in the city. That's almost double the typically recomnneded rent-to-income ratio of about 33 percent. "Stagnant income growth, short supply of rental units, and rapidly increasing rents is making New York City one of the most expensive and challenging rental markets in the country," StreetEasy's Alan Lightfeldt wrote.

San Francisco wasn't the only Bay Area city high on the Zumper list. Oakland and San Jose also ranked in the top 10, as the entire region deals with a growing population and a lack of housing. “The East Bay is currently experiencing one of the fastest rise in rents across the country,” the Zumper report says.

Here are the full February rankings for the 25 most expensive cities for renters – with Boston, Washington, D.C., and Oakland, California, rounding out the top five:

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