7 Big Cities with the Cheapest Rent Prices

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7 Big Cities with the Cheapest Rent Prices

Lisa Wright · Jun 7, 2022
Downtown Fargo, North Dakota.

It’s no secret that big cities are expensive to live in, but city living also comes with lots of cool benefits.So how does one find an apartment in a city without breaking the bank? And what are the best big cities for renters in the US?

There are a number of things to consider when gauging whether a city is or isn’t affordable, including cost of living, utility costs, median household income, and the job market, to name a few. These cities offer some of the lowest costs of living in the country, and they should be on every renter’s watchlist this year:

Albuquerque, New Mexico

With a population over half a million people, Albuquerque definitely delivers the big city vibes without the high price tags. It’s an up-and-coming New Mexico gem known for its bustling desert atmosphere, and don’t worry, there’s plenty of stuff to do here, and a growing job market, too (especially for those in the tech industry). Expect to pay around $1,165 for a one-bedroom apartment here.

Louisville, Kentucky

Downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

Despite being the Bluegrass State’s largest city at just over 600,000 people, rents are surprisingly affordable in Louisville. The city’s been experiencing an almost Brooklyn-level renaissance lately, gaining popularity among hip, younger crowds looking for a burgeoning culture and food scene without the hefty price tag. Looking for something a little more metropolitan but still want those great southern vibes? Memphis is also an extremely cool spot to put down roots. In both cities, the average rent is below the national average. Expect to pay $1,179 for a one-bedroom in Louisville, and $1,138 for one in Memphis.

San Antonio, Texas

For the seventh largest city in the U.S.,San Antonio is still one of the most affordable. Known as a tourist hotspot thanks to attractions like the Alamo, San Antonio has so much more to offer than just a good-time vacation. Cool riverfront neighborhoods, fun attractions, and a bustling downtown area make it a great place to live and work. A one-bedroom apartment averages $1,078 in San Antonio.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indiana’s capital is a top-tier city in its own right. Home to a vibrant, eclectic downtown area filled with green spaces, eateries, and of course, sports, it’s home to around 900,000 people — the perfect blend of Midwestern charm and big-city feels. A one-bedroom goes for around $1,072 here.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Looking for those big city vibes without the big population? Louisiana’s capital city might be the place for you. Home to just over 200,000 people, there’s definitely an air of urban sophistication here, but it’s still small enough to feel like a community thanks to its college town vibe (Louisiana State University has its main campus here). Basically, it’s all the fun of NOLA without the price tag. A one-bedroom rental costs around $1,056 in Baton Rouge.

Omaha, Nebraska

Downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

Omaha has one of the cheapest rents on this list, but don’t let that fool you. The Nebraska city of just under 500,000 people isn’t just some blip in the Midwest — it’s a bustling cultural hub with hip neighborhoods and small city charm, not to mention incredibly affordable rent prices that make living here even more worth it. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Omaha is $983.

Fargo, North Dakota

If all you know about Fargo is the Coen Brothers movie of the same name, it’s time you become more acquainted with the real Fargo. North Dakota’s largest, it’s perennially ranked as one of the country’s most livable cities due to its growing economy, hot job market, and fun things to do (just be sure to pack your cold weather gear). And with a population of just over 120,000, it’s easy to feel like you’re part of a city here without getting lost in the crowd. A one-bedroom rental goes for $826 in Fargo.

Now more than ever, rental prices are skyrocketing in cities with seven-figure populations — not just hotspots like New York and San Francisco. If you’re looking to put down roots in a city, you can find the best of both worlds in these affordable spots throughout the country. They may not top the charts population-wise, but they still offer all the perks of city living. And hey, you’ll even have a little spending money left over.

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