7 Cities With the Most Affordable Rents

A man standing on an apartment balcony peers out into the street below.

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Just as home prices reach new heights, renters are now paying more for their leases too. Rents for studios to two-bedroom units increased by 17.1% in February, and rents nationwide reached a new high of $1,792 per month, according to realtor.com®.

Rental prices are soaring in many of the nation’s largest coastal cities. For example, in Miami, rental prices rose by more than 50% in the past year, realtor.com® reports.

But affordable rental havens do still exist, for those willing to move to reach them.

“A lot of these places tend to be midsize rather than bigger cities,” Chris Salviati, senior economist with Apartment List, told realtor.com®. “There were more affordable markets pre-pandemic.”

Realtor.com®’s research team identified the most affordable rental markets in cities that have at least 50,000 residents. They identified the cheapest rents by looking at the overall average rents of all sizes and types of apartments, from studios to four-bedroom units. They limited their list to one city per state for geographic diversity. The seven most affordable rental markets are:

1. Odessa, Texas

  • Average rent in March: $676

2. Lake Charles, La.

  • Average rent in March: $749

3. Davenport, Iowa

  • Average rent in March: $773

4. Cleveland

  • Average rent in March: $815

5. St. Cloud, Minn.

  • Average rent in March: $844

6. South Bend, Ind.

  • Average rent in March: $845

7. Grand Forks, N.D.

  • Average rent in March: $865

To view the full list, visit realtor.com®.