Don’t Move Here: 15 U.S. Cities Where Rent is Rising at Alarming Rates

Cost of living
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Does it seem like it’s getting more and more difficult to find an affordable place to rent?

It’s not just your imagination. Rent is rising around the country — in certain metropolitan areas, at an alarming rate.

A recent Bankrate post shared data from RentRange, a “data and analytics company for single-family rentals,” and identified 25 cities where rent is rising really fast — like double-digit fast — in a single year.

Wondering which cities made the list? Keep reading.

15 U.S. Cities Where Rent is Rising the Fastest

Despite what you might expect, the cities are located all across the country.  

Here are the 15 metropolitan areas where rent’s rising the fastest, followed by the percentage change from last year to this year.

  1. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida: 26.1%
  1. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, Louisiana: 20.6%
  1. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington: 16.6%
  1. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida: 15.7%
  1. Port St. Lucie, Florida: 15.2%
  1. Knoxville, Tennessee: 14.9%
  1. Syracuse, New York: 14.8%
  1. Huntsville, Alabama: 14.4%
  1. Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina: 13.7%
  1. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, California: 13.1%
  1. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee: 13%
  1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 12.6%
  1. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia: 12.3%
  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, California: 12%
  1. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Arkansas: 11.6%

(For the full list of 25 cities, click over to Bankrate.)

Crazy, right?

Say your rent was $800 — an increase of 26% would mean you’d now be paying $1,008 per month. That adds up to nearly $2,500 over the course of a single year. That same amount could be put to much better uses, like saving for retirement.

I’ve got proof, too: One of our TPH staffers recently left Cape Coral, Florida (the #1 city on this list), where her rent was $850 per month for two years. Her landlord just raised the rent to $1,200 per month — an increase of 41%!!! — and had no problem renting it.

And the thing is, there’s not really a good explanation.

“I couldn’t see any economic or demographic indicator that would explain why they rose so high,” one expert told Bankrate.

So what can you do? Here are a few ideas…

Negotiate Your Rent

Yes, it’s possible. This guy negotiated his rent down 50% in San Francisco, which is the #14 city on this list!

If you know you want to stay in a unit, try agreeing to a longer lease term in exchange for lower rent. Or, offer up your skills, from performing basic repairs and maintenance to helping your landlord with his taxes.  

Buy a House

Oddly enough, in some of these cities, the costs of houses are going down while rents are going up.

You might not think it’s possible to buy a house, but you could be wrong: Look into programs like this or this.

Move to a Different City

I know — it sounds extreme.

But if moving to another city gives you the ability to get a nicer place, save for retirement and enjoy a higher quality of life, it might be worth it.

Need ideas? Check these lists of 10 cheaper alternatives to expensive U.S. cities, affordable small towns or cities that will actually pay you to live there.

Your Turn: How much has rent risen in YOUR city?

Susan Shain, senior writer for The Penny Hoarder, is always seeking adventure on a budget. Visit her blog at, or say hi on Twitter @susan_shain.

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