Rent Rose Across the U.S. This Year—Especially in These Cities

Rent is significantly higher than it was before 2021 in most of the U.S.

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Looking back on 2021, a lot happened. There was the ongoing pandemic, of course, a new president, an attempted coup, Squid Game... and rents everywhere reaching new highs. According to rental marketplace Zumper's 2021 Annual Rent Report, you're not imagining it—rent really is increasing across the board.

According to the report, the average rent of a one-bedroom apartment rose 11.6% this year. Two-bedroom apartments rose 13.6%.

While all this comes after rent prices dropped drastically the year prior as people fled big cities in favor of quieter lives at the start of the pandemic, Zumper found that in most of the US, rent is significantly higher than it was before 2021.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, New York was the most expensive city for renters in 2021. According to Zumper's data, going into 2020, rent for a one-bedroom in the Big Apple was down 17.5%—driven largely by people leaving in droves as the pandemic ravaged the area. Once the vaccine started rolling out, people started coming back and rent began to rise again. It's up 11.9% and climbing as of this month. 

This year marks the first time that New York beat San Francisco in terms of rental prices since Zumper started collecting data in 2014.

Whether you've been thinking about moving, just accepted a job in a new city, or just have big dreams of ditching your hometown for somewhere bigger and better, you should probably be armed with this information before you load up the moving trucks.

These are the top 10 most expensive cities for renters right now and the median rent price for a one-bedroom in those cities:

1. New York, NY — $3,190
2. San Francisco, California — $2,810
3. Boston, Massachusetts — $2,590
4. San Jose, California — $2,310
5. Miami, Florida — $2,280
6. Los Angeles, California — $2,200
7. Washington, D.C. — $2,200
8. San Diego, California — $2,160
9. Oakland, California — $2,030
10. Fort Lauderdale, Florida — $2,020

The biggest takeaway from Zumper's findings isn't that rent is rising, it is the rate at which rent is rising that's astounding. Typically, the increase from one year to the next is not as high as it has been. Then again, a global pandemic is not typical in terms of circumstance. Rent plummeted during 2020, but has returned to pre-pandemic prices and, in most cases, surpassed those prices. Cities on the East Coast are seeing rents reach all-time highs. 

Further, competition for rentals is also heating up. According to data, more renters had to fill out more than one rental application than they did the year before.

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it—find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.