Apartment Search Money

Update: How Much Space Does $1,500 Rent You in the 100 Most Populous US Cities?

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Ever wondered what your rent would be worth in another city? You know, just to see if the grass is greener… But how do you measure whether you’ve made a good deal or not anyway? By price? By space? How about both? We did some digging a while ago to see what apartment value you would get for $1,500, depending on where you go in the 30 largest US cities. For the sake of simplicity, we substituted value with square footage—based on the average price per square foot data in each city, courtesy of our friends over at our sister company Yardi Matrix.

As it proved to be a smashing success, we thought we could kick it up a notch and respond to the numerous requests from renters all over the nation. So we included a total of 100 cities in the research this time! And to give it another twist, we also added a calculator so that you can really see what else you could rent with the money you cash out each month.

First things first, here’s the lovely and improved infographic with all the data. Hover over the tiles and see how much space $1,500 gets you in the 100 most populous US cities:

We paid special attention for the proportions in the above infographic to be correct—meaning that if the tile representing St. Louis is double the size of, say, Long Beach, it’s because you get exactly twice as much space in the Gateway to the West for the same amount of money. And so forth… For example, the four-bed, three-bath home you could rent for $1,500 in Memphis or Wichita is seven times the size of the hypothetical Manhattan studio that you’d get for the same amount of cash. In other words, even its living room is larger than some micro units in NYC:

apartment size - floor plans compared

Use this simple calculator to see how much space your monthly rent would get you in other large US cities:

Use the code below to embed the calculator on your website:

The infographic and the calculator use the average price per square foot in each city, however, we have more data that might be of interest to you. The following interactive table displays the same information in a more old-fashioned way. Furthermore, you can sort the cities by their average apartment size and average rent too.

How much floor space can you get for $1,500?

CitySq. Ft. / $1,500Price per Sq. Ft.Average Sq. Ft.Average Rent
New York City*271$5.54727$4,031
San Francisco, CA342$4.38748$3,275
Boston, MA399$3.76827$3,111
Jersey City, NJ473$3.17857$2,715
Oakland, CA510$2.94802$2,354
San Jose, CA526$2.85888$2,532
Fremont, CA545$2.75836$2,297
Washington, DC558$2.69741$1,996
Los Angeles, CA570$2.63779$2,050
Seattle, WA607$2.47711$1,756
Irvine, CA617$2.43916$2,225
Chicago, IL641$2.34730$1,708
San Diego, CA698$2.15848$1,820
Long Beach, CA721$2.08796$1,655
Santa Ana, CA777$1.93863$1,667
Anaheim, CA806$1.86851$1,581
Philadelphia, PA820$1.83801$1,464
Minneapolis, MN847$1.77787$1,392
Portland, OR852$1.76790$1,387
Chula Vista, CA872$1.72854$1,466
Miami, FL909$1.65889$1,467
Denver, CO915$1.64838$1,373
Newark, NJ955$1.57689$1,083
Riverside, CA1,000$1.50854$1,282
Hialeah, FL1,034$1.45805$1,165
Austin, TX1,049$1.43860$1,227
Baltimore, MD1,071$1.40829$1,158
Aurora, CO1,071$1.40831$1,162
Madison, WI1,095$1.37839$1,148
Pittsburgh, PA1,128$1.33804$1,070
St. Paul, MN1,136$1.32826$1,090
St. Petersburg, FL1,163$1.29866$1,113
Sacramento, CA1,172$1.28819$1,051
Scottsdale, AZ1,172$1.28949$1,216
Atlanta, GA1,172$1.28984$1,257
Plano, TX1,181$1.27936$1,191
Nashville, TN1,200$1.25902$1,131
Orlando, FL1,200$1.25951$1,184
Dallas, TX1,210$1.24841$1,040
Milwaukee, WI1,220$1.23851$1,048
San Bernardino, CA1,230$1.22819$1,002
Irving, TX1,250$1.20850$1,016
Tampa, FL1,261$1.19923$1,102
Houston, TX1,271$1.18876$1,030
Buffalo, NY1,282$1.17746$875
Cleveland, OH1,282$1.17794$927
New Orleans, LA1,282$1.17874$1,020
Chesapeake, VA1,304$1.15983$1,134
Stockton, CA1,316$1.14792$901
Norfolk, VA1,316$1.14886$1,006
Lubbock, TX1,316$1.14933$1,063
Corpus Christi, TX1,327$1.13837$948
Chandler, AZ1,339$1.12933$1,047
Virginia Beach, VA1,339$1.12975$1,089
Colorado Springs, CO1,364$1.10828$914
Reno, NV1,364$1.10841$923
Charlotte, NC1,364$1.10949$1,048
San Antonio, TX1,376$1.09851$931
Gilbert, AZ1,376$1.09930$1,015
Detroit, MI1,389$1.08802$870
Fort Worth, TX1,389$1.08864$930
Richmond, VA1,389$1.08865$932
Raleigh, NC1,402$1.07962$1,030
Phoenix, AZ1,415$1.06792$839
Baton Rouge, LA1,415$1.06949$1,009
Bakersfield, CA1,429$1.05853$896
Boise, ID1,429$1.05876$920
Durham, NC1,429$1.05932$980
Henderson, NV1,442$1.04984$1,022
Arlington, TX1,456$1.03819$842
Garland, TX1,471$1.02851$869
Mesa, AZ1,500$1.00798$795
St. Louis, MO1,500$1.00836$839
Cincinnati, OH1,500$1.00863$866
Fresno, CA1,500$1.00891$888
Albuquerque, NM1,531$0.98813$799
Tucson, AZ1,546$0.97750$731
Glendale, AZ1,546$0.97787$766
Las Vegas, NV1,546$0.97893$867
Jacksonville, FL1,579$0.95961$909
Kansas City, MO1,596$0.94881$830
Lexington, KY1,596$0.94896$838
Louisville, KY1,648$0.91924$841
North Las Vegas, NV1,648$0.91955$869
El Paso, TX1,667$0.90815$733
Columbus, OH1,667$0.90886$800
Omaha, NE1,667$0.90928$831
Lincoln, NE1,667$0.90937$843
Indianapolis, IN1,724$0.87875$758
Oklahoma City, OK1,786$0.84845$711
Greensboro, NC1,786$0.84936$785
Tulsa, OK1,829$0.82819$672
Toledo, OH1,852$0.81807$654
Fort Wayne, IN1,899$0.79869$686
Winston-Salem, NC1,899$0.79923$729
Wichita, KS1,948$0.77787$609
Memphis, TN1,948$0.77920$704

*New York City refers to Manhattan

What does this look like in the field?

If you’ve read this far, you are probably starting to have a vague idea about how wildly property values can vary from one city to another. As it turns out, you don’t even have to go very far to see a considerable difference—the average price per square foot can show significant fluctuations in the same state.

Here’s the sunny Florida for example:

miami.orlando.tampa

Our magic number of $1,500 gets you a decent one-bedroom apartment in the Fontainebleau neighborhood South of Doral in Miami. Apparently, the same amount is enough for more than 1,200 square feet of space in a Tampa two-bedroom apartment, or a three-bed two-bath wonder of about the same dimensions in Orlando.

Go to the Pacific coast and the value of your money is cut right in half:

san.francisco.oakland.irvine1

In San Francisco, the same amount of cash is barely enough to rent a studio. The nearby Oakland is a bit more wallet-friendly, if you can call it that, but the one-bedroom you could afford with $1,500 is still a meager 500-550 square feet at best. In Irvine you get a bit more wiggle-room than that—about 620 square feet. Remember, these are averages we’re talking about, so with a bit of effort put into your research, you’re likely to find better deals, and our last example is a testament to that.

Who is RENTCafé and How Did We Compile the Data?

  • RENTCafé is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States.
  • To compile this report, RENTCafé’s research team analyzed apartment size and rent data across all multifamily rental properties of 50+ units across the 100 largest US cities by population.
  • Apartment size data was provided by Yardi Matrix, an apartment market intelligence source and RENTCafé’s sister company which researches and reports on all multifamily properties of 50+ units across 121 markets in the United States.

Fair use and redistribution

We encourage you and freely grant you permission to reuse, host, or repost the images in this article. When doing so, we only ask that you kindly attribute the authors by linking to RENTCafe.com or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology.

moving checklist

About the author

Balazs Szekely

Balazs is a qualified journalist with a thing for real estate. This obsession comes in handy in his work as an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. When he’s not thrashing his keyboard, he takes pleasure in photography, aquascaping and all kinds of DIY projects. Feel free to get in touch with Balazs via email or Twitter.

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