Rent prices vary from state to state, and it seems as though rent prices all across the United States are increasing. That’s because it is. The U.S. rental market has seen an increase in the demand for apartment house rentals. Renting is often seen as an affordable alternative to buying a home, with less stress and commitment; however, rent prices in major cities and metro areas around the U.S. are becoming increasingly expensive.
The monthly median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the United States is about $1,078 per month, as of the end of 2019. A two-bedroom apartment rents at about $1,343 per month. According to Abodo, in 2019, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the United States increased by 4.1%, and a two-bedroom apartment increased by 5.5%.
The United States is facing an affordable housing crisis. Access to secure, high-quality housing at an affordable price has become increasingly difficult and seemingly impossible in some areas. Rent costs are rising faster than wages across the U.S., putting pressure on people to make rent each month, let alone their other bills and obligations. There are three main reasons why rent is so high now: the Great Recession threw off the rental market, the construction of housing is too expensive, and lawmakers have neglected programs that could solve the problem.
Rent by State
Rent prices vary greatly by state and by city. Some of the most expensive cities to rent in the United States are New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Boston. These are the most expensive cities per square foot, so higher rent prices do not equate to more space.
The state with the highest median rent is Hawaii at $1,566 per month, followed by California at $1,429 and Maryland at $1,357. California is home to some of the most expensive cities to rent in the United States, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose.
Rent is typically higher in states with higher incomes. The five states with the highest median rents have average incomes that are significantly higher than the national average. For example, the median household income is $78,084 in Hawaii, $71,228 in California, and $81,868 in Maryland.
West Virginia has the lowest median rent per month of just $711. This is less than half of what the median rent is in Hawaii and California. South Dakota has the second-lowest rent of $722 per month, followed by Arkansas at $729. There are 33 states whose median rent is under $1,000 per month.
The states that have the lowest rent prices have the lowest overall costs of living in the United States in general; however, median household incomes also tend to be lower. For example, the median household income is $44,291 in West Virginia, $56,499 in South Dakota, and $45,746 in Arkansas. While rent might be about half that of the states with the highest rent, the income can about half as well.