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Luxury Rents Are 40% Higher Than Non-Luxury; Look Up Rent Prices in Your City [Interactive Table]

Apartments for Rent at 50 Columbus Jersey City
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New luxury rental apartments are not only raising the bar on quality and convenience, but also on rent prices. The current boom in high-end apartment construction has been suspected to drive overall rents up, with 3 out of 4 apartments completed last year being in the luxury category and more on the way. The side-effects of almost no one building new middle-income housing anymore are becoming painfully obvious.

Rents in Low-End and Mid-Tier Buildings Rise Faster Than in High-End Buildings

Up until recently, luxury rents have been typically growing faster than non-luxury rents, but this year the pattern is completely reversed. As of the 2nd quarter of 2016, luxury rent prices were wavering quite a bit, slowing their growth to 4.7% (after registering a growth rate of 6.5% in Q2 last year). Over the same period of time, rents in middle-income housing continued their bold ascent, rising by 5.8% in Q2 2016 (only slightly slower than Q2 2015), rubbing more salt into the wound for a large number of American renters who are already overburdened by high rent costs.

y-o-y-change-rents-luxury-vs-non-luxury-web Q2
*Rents in large apartment buildings of 50 units or more.

 

This doesn’t mean that high-end rents have been going down, but that the amount they’ve been rising by has been slowing. For example, rents in June 2016 were higher than in June 2015, but by a smaller margin than they were between June 2014 and June 2015.

On Average Luxury Rentals Cost Almost 40% More Than Non-Luxury Rentals

Though the climb of luxury rents may be tapering off (and that’s a big “maybe”), they’re still at a level significantly above non-luxury apartment prices. Nationwide, the average monthly rate in a luxury building is currently $1,551 versus $1,117 in a mid-tier building. In other words, if you’re looking to upgrade to a high-end apartment this year, you would pay an average of $434 more per month, or 39% more. See how much you would pay in your city.

nationwide-average-rents-in-luxury-vs-non-luxury-web Q2
*Rents in large apartment buildings of 50 units or more.

 

Prices in the Northeast Are 2.3 Times Higher Than in the South

Not all luxury is created equal. In the regions along the West Coast and North East Coast rent prices are sky-high, while in the South, West, Southeast and Southwest prices tend to be more down to earth rent-wise. One region’s average apartment is another’s luxury. About the same money that rents a regular apartment in the Northeast, in the Mid-Atlantic region, or in California, gets you an upscale apartment in the South.

 luxury-vs-non-luxury-by-region-web Q2

 

In the Northeast, rent prices are as spectacular as the rental properties. One example is 50 Columbus in Jersey City, NJ, designed by well-known architect Costas Kondylis, a premium residential tower located in Jersey City’s vibrant downtown Grove Street district. The community boasts awe-inspiring interiors by designer Andres Escobar, basking in an abundance of natural light, with incredible views of the Manhattan skyline, the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty and the Harbor. Asking rents start in the $2,000’s for studios to the $6,000’s for 3-bedroom apartments. Located in one of the more expensive cities in the Northeast region, rental apartments in Jersey City average $2,940 per month for luxury units and $1,748 for mid-range apartments.

Luxury Apartments at 50 Columbus in Jersey City, NJ
Luxury Apartments at 50 Columbus in Jersey City, NJ

 

In the South, luxury feels warm and inviting — and somewhat more affordable — at the upscale rental community Cadence Cool Springs in Franklin, TN, where a top-of the-line 3-bedroom unit rents for up to $2,750.  Part of the Simpson Property Group, LP portfolio, Cadence offers resort-style saltwater pool, car care center and free bike rentals, a state-of-the art fitness center with yoga/spin studio and loft-like interiors with impeccable quality finishes throughout. Newer high-end apartments in the Nashville Metropolitan Area cost on average $1,344 per month, while older mid-range apartments rent on average for $921 per month.

Cadence interior
Luxury Apartments at Cadence Cool Springs, Franklin, TN

 

Luxury Apartments Almost Twice as Expensive in Detroit and Chicago

Where you live certainly dictates how much more it costs to rent in a luxury building as opposed to a building catering to middle-income renters. For instance, in Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL, Milwaukee, WI and Memphis, TN, the cost of a high-end rental is 80-90% more than a regular apartment. But luxury appears more attainable elsewhere. In Albuquerque, NM, for example, average rents in upscale buildings are only 34% more ($720 vs $966). Or, in the case of San Jose, CA, the cost difference is only 32% ($2,135 vs $2,819) — with the caveat that San Jose’s rents are 3 times higher than those in Albuquerque.  The following chart shows the top 15 cities (with a population over 500,000) where the price difference between mid-tier rentals versus luxury rentals is the most significant.

 

Top 15 Large Cities Chart Q2
*Includes cities with a population of at least 500,000

 

In net dollar amounts, the largest price gaps are in the San Francisco Bay area and in the New York area. In Oakland, CA, for instance, it costs on average $1,764 dollars more per month to rent a high-end apartment in comparison to a low-to-mid-tier apartment. In New York it costs on average $1,265 more per month to upgrade to a luxury unit. By contrast, if you lived in El Paso, TX, for instance, you’d only spend on average $277 more per month for a luxury apartment, or in Las Vegas, NV $288 more. Not surprisingly, Chicago, IL is also a top city in terms of net rent difference (a luxury apartment is on average $1,139 more than a mid-range one).

Even Average Apartments Are Beyond the Means of 21.3 Million Renters

With so much talk about luxury, we don’t want to lose focus of what’s important to the average renters: can they afford their rent? And the answer is “no” for almost half of American renters. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) found that “As of 2014, just under half (49.3) of renters were housing cost burdened, spending more than 30 percent of income on housing costs.” That’s a total of 21.3 million renters. Looking at the median income in each of the top 15 cities covered in the chart above, we found that in 5 out of those 15 cities (Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee) the rent cost represents more than 30% of the median income. Thus, renting an upscale apartment in those cities is simply out of reach, as it would mean spending about 60-70% of income on rent.

This reopens the housing affordability debate once more. According to the JCHS, the problem stems from the accelerated growth in the number of renter households taking place this decade — causing a surge in demand — coupled with the inadequate rental housing supply in terms of both quantity and price.  The burden of high rents is no longer a problem only faced by low-income renters. With the supply focused largely on high-end high-priced rental developments, the problem is also present among moderate-income renters.

Though the “under 30% of income” rule of thumb for what we consider affordable rent has been used for decades as a measure for housing affordability trends and reports, affordability assessments should also account for other measures such as location, household size, and secondary expenses. For many getting to and from work is the second-largest monthly expense, one that’s directly tied to where they live. An apartment at the outskirts of the city or in a suburb may look cheap, but add in gas for an hour-long commute and the cost rises considerably. Therefore, for some, moving into a high-end building near the downtown business area where they work should, in theory, cut transportation costs significantly, in which case spending more on rent may make financial sense. Granted, that scenario won’t work everywhere or for everyone.

Find rent prices in your city in the interactive table* below:

RankStateCityAvg. Non-Luxury RentAvg. Luxury RentAmount DifferencePercentage Difference
1NYRochester$879$2,004$1,125128%
2INSouth Bend$705$1,506$801114%
3OHCleveland$804$1,699$895111%
4FLFt. Lauderdale$993$2,030$1,037104%
5SCWest Columbia$661$1,351$690104%
6CAOakland$1,749$3,513$1,764101%
7MOSt. Louis$778$1,553$775100%
8OHToledo$596$1,152$55693%
9NJWest New York$1,436$2,755$1,31992%
10MIDetroit$789$1,512$72392%
11ILEvanston$1,237$2,370$1,13392%
12TXLubbock$711$1,359$64891%
13MIGrand Rapids$857$1,589$73285%
14OKNorman$787$1,459$67285%
15NJNewark$1,071$1,979$90885%
16FLHomestead$848$1,556$70883%
17ILChicago$1,368$2,507$1,13983%
18COGlendale$1,023$1,872$84983%
19OHCincinnati$816$1,487$67182%
20INWest Lafayette$763$1,376$61380%
21CASan Pedro$1,358$2,446$1,08880%
22CAN. Hollywood$1,403$2,525$1,12280%
23LANew Orleans$882$1,580$69879%
24WIMilwaukee$922$1,649$72779%
25TNMemphis$626$1,119$49379%
26MIAnn Arbor$1,258$2,219$96176%
27MANatick$1,403$2,459$1,05675%
28NJBayonne$1,227$2,140$91374%
29PAPhiladelphia$1,254$2,176$92274%
30CTEllington$878$1,520$64273%
31CTHartford$1,012$1,749$73773%
32MDBaltimore$1,023$1,766$74373%
33MDHyattsville$1,248$2,146$89872%
34ILVernon Hills$1,165$1,997$83271%
35NJFair Lawn$1,422$2,434$1,01271%
36NCWilmington$930$1,589$65971%
37TXHouston$819$1,398$57971%
38NJJersey City$1,766$3,007$1,24170%
39NJFort Lee$1,839$3,131$1,29270%
40ALAuburn$848$1,443$59570%
41NJParlin$1,143$1,941$79870%
42TXDallas$833$1,411$57869%
43AZTucson$672$1,138$46669%
44NJEnglewood$1,539$2,598$1,05969%
45NJBloomfield$1,265$2,129$86468%
46OHColumbus$747$1,254$50768%
47GAStatesboro$871$1,436$56565%
48CALos Angeles$1,777$2,925$1,14865%
49CAWest Sacramento$912$1,500$58864%
50CAEncino$1,620$2,658$1,03864%
51NJHackensack$1,436$2,349$91364%
52MINovi$971$1,588$61764%
53FLTallahassee$949$1,551$60263%
54TXCollege Station$1,124$1,832$70863%
55MNMinneapolis$1,112$1,809$69763%
56GAAugusta$693$1,123$43062%
57TXMidland$848$1,370$52262%
58CARedwood City$2,138$3,451$1,31361%
59VANorfolk$892$1,437$54561%
60CAValley Village$1,716$2,750$1,03460%
61PAWexford$893$1,428$53560%
62SCMauldin$629$1,004$37560%
63MNSt. Paul$980$1,559$57959%
64PAPittsburgh$1,005$1,595$59059%
65MIEast Lansing$1,139$1,807$66859%
66CTStorrs$1,313$2,082$76959%
67OHPerrysburg$683$1,083$40059%
68CAPleasant Hill$1,655$2,624$96959%
69LABaton Rouge$882$1,397$51558%
70MOKansas City$742$1,173$43158%
71SCColumbia$768$1,214$44658%
72FLMiami$1,198$1,893$69558%
73NJMorristown$1,794$2,827$1,03358%
74INIndianapolis$708$1,115$40757%
75DCWashington$1,738$2,737$99957%
76CALong Beach$1,545$2,432$88757%
77CAGlendale$1,707$2,686$97957%
78OKOklahoma City$659$1,036$37757%
79MICanton$947$1,484$53757%
80TXEdinburg$629$984$35556%
81NJLong Branch$1,540$2,409$86956%
82CANewport Beach$1,868$2,922$1,05456%
83NYLiverpool$845$1,321$47656%
84CAChula Vista$1,291$2,017$72656%
85MNSt. Louis Park$1,078$1,684$60656%
86NCWinston-Salem$593$925$33256%
87NYElmsford$1,916$2,988$1,07256%
88FLPinellas Park$891$1,386$49556%
89AZTempe$920$1,431$51156%
90TXOdessa$794$1,234$44055%
91TXFort Worth$796$1,237$44155%
92OHParma Heights$712$1,105$39355%
93TNNashville$973$1,510$53755%
94SCGreenville$778$1,207$42955%
95CASanta Ana$1,539$2,384$84555%
96ILGlenview$1,294$2,004$71055%
97RIMiddletown$1,345$2,081$73655%
98MOSt. Charles$837$1,294$45755%
99NJSomerset$1,408$2,170$76254%
100OHMason$835$1,286$45154%
101NYWhite Plains$2,035$3,132$1,09754%
102MDCollege Park$1,665$2,561$89654%
103PACoraopolis$826$1,270$44454%
104OHKent$939$1,442$50354%
105FLPompano Beach$1,042$1,600$55854%
106TXWaco$797$1,221$42453%
107OKTulsa$623$954$33153%
108DEWilmington$1,027$1,572$54553%
109KSKansas City$669$1,022$35353%
110GAAtlanta$954$1,453$49952%
111MABurlington$1,562$2,379$81752%
112CACampbell$2,233$3,391$1,15852%
113NCHuntersville$770$1,166$39651%
114FLFort Walton Beach$836$1,265$42951%
115FLDaytona Beach$831$1,257$42651%
116MSJackson$683$1,032$34951%
117SCAnderson$685$1,035$35051%
118NCChapel Hill$1,032$1,558$52651%
119NJNew Brunswick$1,440$2,170$73051%
120MDChevy Chase$1,878$2,830$95251%
121NCKernersville$606$912$30650%
122CAConcord$1,682$2,531$84950%
123NYCoram$1,568$2,358$79050%
124TXFarmers Branch$945$1,420$47550%
125FLJupiter$1,137$1,708$57150%
126TXRosenberg$809$1,215$40650%
127AZPhoenix$729$1,094$36550%
128MDPikesville$1,169$1,754$58550%
129FLSt. Petersburg$920$1,380$46050%
130TXAddison$1,003$1,503$50050%
131CANorwalk$1,335$1,999$66450%
132ORPortland$1,179$1,765$58650%
133WAKennewick$765$1,143$37849%
134NCConcord$703$1,050$34749%
135NYYonkers$1,554$2,317$76349%
136CAPasadena$1,738$2,591$85349%
137FLTampa$940$1,401$46149%
138OREugene$1,001$1,491$49049%
139FLMiami Beach$1,932$2,873$94149%
140MABillerica$1,519$2,258$73949%
141CANapa$1,569$2,331$76249%
142CAClovis$887$1,317$43048%
143VAReston$1,581$2,347$76648%
144MOLee's Summit$750$1,113$36348%
145VAFalls Church$1,550$2,300$75048%
146COGolden$1,213$1,796$58348%
147CACanoga Park$1,460$2,160$70048%
148CASan Diego$1,550$2,293$74348%
149CASan Bernardino$972$1,434$46248%
150ILWoodridge$1,068$1,575$50747%
151NJMontclair$1,737$2,561$82447%
152NVSparks$842$1,241$39947%
153WIKenosha$780$1,149$36947%
154CALa Jolla$1,625$2,387$76247%
155NVReno$854$1,254$40047%
156NEBellevue$770$1,130$36047%
157SCCharleston$1,004$1,473$46947%
158ALHomewood$886$1,299$41347%
159GAChamblee$886$1,299$41347%
160GAMacon$625$915$29046%
161MDLandover$1,281$1,875$59446%
162VAWilliamsburg$895$1,308$41346%
163NJPerth Amboy$1,314$1,919$60546%
164KYLexington$761$1,111$35046%
165TXCorpus Christi$866$1,264$39846%
166NYNew Rochelle$1,852$2,698$84646%
167NEPapillion$673$980$30746%
168CAMountain View$2,690$3,908$1,21845%
169NVNorth Las Vegas$660$958$29845%
170MIHowell$884$1,282$39845%
171FLJacksonville$773$1,121$34845%
172TXSan Antonio$804$1,165$36145%
173MABoston$2,482$3,591$1,10945%
174CODenver$1,205$1,743$53845%
175NCCharlotte$845$1,222$37745%
176ALPhenix City$655$947$29245%
177TXBaytown$784$1,133$34945%
178VAPortsmouth$834$1,201$36744%
179FLPensacola$760$1,094$33444%
180GAHinesville$697$1,002$30544%
181CASan Bruno$2,362$3,393$1,03144%
182NJVoorhees$1,185$1,702$51744%
183ALBirmingham$730$1,048$31844%
184MSPearl$607$871$26443%
185KSWichita$590$846$25643%
186CASacramento$1,029$1,475$44643%
187CASan Francisco$3,046$4,365$1,31943%
188TXLake Jackson$950$1,360$41043%
189CAWest Hollywood$2,172$3,109$93743%
190ARLittle Rock$684$979$29543%
191MDBethesda$1,849$2,646$79743%
192AZGlendale$707$1,011$30443%
193CASan Rafael$2,088$2,985$89743%
194AZScottsdale$913$1,305$39243%
195WIMadison$1,052$1,503$45143%
196WIFitchburg$882$1,260$37843%
197KYLouisville$780$1,114$33443%
198TXIrving$855$1,218$36342%
199IADes Moines$731$1,041$31042%
200LAKenner$729$1,038$30942%
201CAHanford$772$1,099$32742%
202COColorado Springs$820$1,167$34742%
203WIWauwatosa$1,066$1,516$45042%
204MIRochester Hills$1,023$1,454$43142%
205CTNew Haven$1,313$1,865$55242%
206MARevere$1,481$2,103$62242%
207OHWest Chester$978$1,388$41042%
208FLLargo$909$1,289$38042%
209CABakersfield$851$1,206$35542%
210CASanta Maria$1,262$1,788$52642%
211TXGrapevine$959$1,357$39842%
212TXTexas City$731$1,034$30341%
213NJCherry Hill$1,257$1,778$52141%
214INFort Wayne$650$919$26941%
215TNMurfreesboro$826$1,167$34141%
216CAFairfield$1,326$1,873$54741%
217CTStamford$1,851$2,614$76341%
218MNApple Valley$961$1,357$39641%
219CARancho Cordova$941$1,328$38741%
220CAOxnard$1,491$2,104$61341%
221CAFresno$847$1,195$34841%
222TNKnoxville$804$1,134$33041%
223CANorthridge$1,592$2,240$64841%
224NCGarner$753$1,057$30440%
225VANewport News$820$1,151$33140%
226TXDenton$922$1,294$37240%
227GAColumbus$692$970$27840%
228FLOcala$737$1,033$29640%
229TXEl Paso$693$970$27740%
230MAPeabody$1,607$2,247$64040%
231TXPasadena$755$1,055$30040%
232OHHilliard$864$1,207$34340%
233LAGonzales$907$1,267$36040%
234CAAnaheim$1,505$2,102$59740%
235MNWhite Bear Lake$978$1,365$38740%
236UTSalt Lake City$950$1,325$37539%
237MALowell$1,288$1,796$50839%
238NCDurham$838$1,168$33039%
239VAArlington$1,728$2,408$68039%
240CAVisalia$852$1,187$33539%
241TNChattanooga$777$1,082$30539%
242PAKing of Prussia$1,231$1,714$48339%
243TXUniversal City$711$989$27839%
244FLCasselberry$817$1,136$31939%
245GADecatur$807$1,122$31539%
246FLDeerfield Beach$1,122$1,559$43739%
247NVLas Vegas$740$1,028$28839%
248MOCreve Coeur$994$1,380$38639%
249NYNew York City*$3,265$4,530$1,26539%
250WATumwater$823$1,141$31839%
251ILWheaton$1,253$1,735$48238%
252FLOrlando$991$1,372$38138%
253WAAuburn$985$1,363$37838%
254GACollege Park$674$932$25838%
255TXGeorgetown$879$1,215$33638%
256CAPomona$1,290$1,783$49338%
257FLHollywood$1,118$1,544$42638%
258NEOmaha$759$1,048$28938%
259TNSmyrna$809$1,117$30838%
260FLDavie$1,219$1,683$46438%
261CAModesto$983$1,357$37438%
262TXRichmond$875$1,207$33238%
263WASeattle$1,554$2,143$58938%
264MACambridge$2,406$3,316$91038%
265COEnglewood$1,120$1,543$42338%
266NJPrinceton$1,799$2,478$67938%
267IAAnkeny$842$1,159$31738%
268ORSalem$850$1,170$32038%
269WAOlympia$912$1,255$34338%
270CARedondo Beach$1,933$2,657$72437%
271TXAustin$1,044$1,435$39137%
272CASanta Monica$3,041$4,177$1,13637%
273NMLas Cruces$664$912$24837%
274MIKalamazoo$780$1,071$29137%
275WIBrookfield$1,164$1,597$43337%
276MNSt. Cloud$706$968$26237%
277FLGainesville$981$1,345$36437%
278TXBalch Springs$702$962$26037%
279MOIndependence$616$844$22837%
280TNFranklin$1,098$1,504$40637%
281MNWoodbury$1,104$1,512$40837%
282COBroomfield$1,142$1,564$42237%
283MNHopkins$997$1,365$36837%
284FLSarasota$1,054$1,442$38837%
285NMRio Rancho$747$1,021$27437%
286TXHaltom City$758$1,036$27837%
287MDWindsor Mill$1,080$1,474$39436%
288CASan Mateo$2,684$3,663$97936%
289PALansdale$1,253$1,710$45736%
290CALa Mesa$1,434$1,957$52336%
291FLMiramar$1,344$1,834$49036%
292ILBloomingdale$1,086$1,481$39536%
293NCBurlington$686$935$24936%
294ALMobile$728$992$26436%
295WALacey$848$1,155$30736%
296CALake Elsinore$1,035$1,409$37436%
297CACarlsbad$1,726$2,349$62336%
298FLSunrise$1,215$1,653$43836%
299MDGlen Burnie$1,174$1,597$42336%
300UTMidvale$919$1,250$33136%

*New York City refers to Manhattan

*The interactive table contains the top 300 U.S. cities with at least 800 apartment units. 

How We Compiled the Data

RENTCafe is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States. Rent prices were obtained from the Yardi Matrix database, RENTCafe’s sister company that specializes in apartment market intelligence, providing up-to-date information on large-scale multi-family properties of 50 units or more. Based on Yardi Matrix’s definition and classification of the apartment market by rental household segments, high-end or luxury rental properties are those that fall into the discretionary (Class A+/A) and high mid-range (Class A-/B+) class categories. Mid-tier and lower-end rental properties (Classes B, C and D) cater to middle and low-mid-income households.

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.

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About the author

Nadia Balint

Nadia Balint is a senior marketing writer for RENTCafé. She researches and writes about news and trends in U.S. real estate and their impact on our everyday life. Her expertise has been quoted in major national and local media outlets. Nadia has a B.S. in Business Management from the College of Business and Management at the Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and an extensive background in business, corporate, and real estate law. You can get in touch with Nadia via email.

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