NEW YORK (WPIX/NEXSTAR) — Despite a recent slowdown in growth, rent costs across the U.S. are well above pre-pandemic levels – so where can you get the most space for your money?
An annual analysis from Rentcafe, a nationwide listing service that helps find apartments or houses for renters and buyers, looked at how much square footage you can get, on average, for $1,500 in the 100 largest U.S. cities.
The most square footage for $1,500
Wichita, Kansas ranks number one when it comes to generous layouts, with 1,463 square feet for $1,500. The average apartment costs $817 a month and has 797 square feet.
Rounding out the top 10 are Toledo, Ohio (1,379 square feet); Tulsa, Oklahoma (1,368 square feet), Oklahoma City (1,330 square feet); Memphis, Tennessee (1,293 square feet); Fort Wayne, Indiana (1,263); El Paso, Texas (1,222 square feet); Lubbock, Texas (1,218 square feet); and Omaha, Nebraska (1,209).
The least square footage for $1,500
Moving to New York City? You may want to pack light. In Manhattan, $1,500 will get you a paltry 243 square feet.
This may not surprise many New Yorkers, but you can’t get a whole lot of space for $1,500 a month in rent. A quick look on Zillow lists less than 200 apartments for that amount, and most are under 500 square feet.
A garage in a residential home that houses two cars is about 400 square feet.
Boston is right behind the Big Apple at 320 square feet, followed by San Francisco (336 square feet); Brooklyn, New York (342 square feet); Jersey City, New Jersey (362 square feet); Queens, New York (393 square feet); Oakland, California (418 square feet); Los Angeles (423 square feet); Irvine, California (445); and San Diego (449 square feet).
Good news for renters?
Rent prices are still sharply higher than they were before the pandemic, but there may be reason for some optimism.
Year-over-year average rent prices across the U.S. actually went down for the first time since COVID-19 upended life around the globe.
Unfortunately for apartment shoppers, rental prices are still quite expensive. The national media cost of rent is now $1,937, according to Rent, which tracks listings and rental data.
The last time it was below that level was February 2022, when it was $1,904. In January, 2020, the month when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first COVID-19 case in the U.S., the median rental price was $1,585.