The Pulse

The Costs Of Living

Identifying the most expensive cities for renters in the U.S.

Los Altos, CA (September 2022)—Which U.S. city do you think is most expensive for renters? New York City? San Francisco? Washington, D.C.? All good guesses, but sorry—according to new data from Dwellsy, as of August 2022, that honor goes to Silverthorne, Colorado. It’s located just over an hour west of Denver, and its median asking rent is $3,500.

“Of course, that doesn’t mean renters in big cities are off the hook—New York topped the major rental markets with a median asking rent of $3,021 in August,” says Jonas Bordo, CEO and cofounder of Dwellsy. “Other major cities are not far behind.”

If those numbers seem surprisingly high, it’s because rent in the United States is up 27.9 percent from last year. Dwellsy’s data shows that the median asking rent in August 2021 was $1,650 per month. In August 2022, it had risen to $2,110 per month—a $460 difference.

Dwellsy, the largest home rental listing platform in the country, regularly mines its 13+ million verified residential rental listings for statistics and data. Because Dwellsy allows landlords to post listings free of charge, it has a pool of data that’s more diverse—and more representative of the true rental landscape—than that of pay-to-play listing services. Each month, Dwellsy breaks this data down regionally across the U.S. so that renters and landlords can see up-to-date trends in rental housing and current affordability in their area.

Here, Dwellsy shares some of its August data.

Which Large Cities Are Most Expensive For Renters?

“As I mentioned, New York City is currently the most expensive big city for renters, with the median asking rent for August coming in at $3,021,” says Bordo. “Boston and San Jose are tied for second place with median rents at $3,000.

“Within this group, Austin stands out with the highest rent increase, which has risen by a staggering 86.3 percent,” Bordo says. “Denver and Tampa have also experienced rent increases that exceed the national average.”

This table shows which large cities were most expensive by August 2022 asking rent.

Metropolitan Statistical Area
Median August 2022 Asking Rent
Change in Rent Since August 2021
New York, NY
Boston, MA 
San Jose, CA
San Francisco, CA 
Austin, TX
San Diego, CA
Miami, FL
Los Angeles, CA
Denver, CO
Tampa, FL

Which Small Cities Are Most Expensive For Renters?

Silverthorne, Colorado, leads the pack by a fairly large margin. Its median August asking rent was $3,500, compared to second-place Naples-Marco Island, Florida—a $250 difference.

“The top three small cities on this list—Silverthorne, Naples-Marco Island, and Santa Cruz, California—are all more expensive to rent in than famously expensive big cities like New York and San Francisco,” says Bordo.

This table shows which small cities were most expensive for renters in August 2022.

Metropolitan Statistical Area
Median August 2022 Asking Rent
Change in Rent Since August 2021
Silverthorne, CO
Naples-Marco Island, FL
Santa Cruz, CA
Napa, CA
Boulder, CO
Santa Barbara, CA
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks- Ventura, CA
Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
Kahului-Wailuku, HI
Olympia, WA


So, if you want to rent in one of these “most expensive” cities, are you and your budget doomed? Not necessarily.

“Single-family home rentals are driving the overall market,” explains Bordo. “Rents for this property type are up more than 36 percent. Apartment rent, in contrast, has risen only 4.7 percent in the past year. That’s below overall inflation levels.

“Naturally, the median asking rent for apartments will vary by city and will also depend on fluctuating supply and demand. But if you’re one of the many Americans who’s primarily been hunting for a rental home, switching your focus to apartments might save you some cash.” Bordo also points out that the rate of rent growth is slowing.

“In August, median asking rent grew by just 0.5 percent, or $10 ($2,100 in July versus $2,110 in August),” he says. “That’s actually below the 1 percent growth rate we’d typically see this time of year. I expect the slowdown in rent growth to continue, especially given the fact that there’s been a material uptick in the delivery of new rentals—especially apartments.”




About Jonas Bordo
Jonas Bordo is the CEO and cofounder of Dwellsy, the free residential rental marketplace that makes it easy to find hard-to-find rentals. Prior to cofounding Dwellsy, Jonas was a senior executive at several leading real estate firms including Essex Property Trust and BentallGreenOak, and was with the Boston Consulting Group after graduating with his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Jonas has had the good fortune to build, rebuild, and lead amazing teams across the multifamily and commercial real estate operational and strategic spectrum; orchestrate the sale of several businesses; develop a strategic plan for one of the world’s leading symphony orchestras; implement a Toyota production system; and create more than 40 brands. He is husband to Rosalind and father to Bailey, Zach, and Thea; an avid hiker; a lifelong learner; and a maker of things, sometimes out of wood.
About Dwellsy
Dwellsy is the renter’s marketplace: a comprehensive residential home rentals marketplace based on the radical concept that true, organic search in a free ecosystem creates more value than the pay-to-play model embraced by all of the current rental listing services. Dwellsy has more than 13 million residential rental listings—more than any legacy classifieds site—as well as the most diverse set of listings, including single family rentals, condos, and apartments. Dwellsy’s entirely different approach to residential rental listings focuses on presenting houses and apartments based on features renters need and want, not based on how much landlords pay to show their listings. Dwellsy investors include Frontier Ventures, Ulu Ventures, Blackhorn Ventures, Heroic Ventures, Anne Wojcicki, and the University of Chicago. For more information, please visit our newsroom or find your next home at


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