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10 priciest cities for renters

By Polyana da Costa ·
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Posted: 3 pm ET

Would you be willing to pay nearly $5,000 per month in rent? If not, don't plan on raising your family in North Miami Beach, Fla.  You might want to stay away from some Southern California cities as well, such as La Jolla, Santa Monica and Newport Beach.

These are some of the most expensive cities in the U.S. for renters looking for a three-bedroom house. In more affordable parts of the country, a three-bedroom home generally is considered standard for a family. But in some of these affluent cities, a three-bedroom house is a privilege the average renter can't afford.

In North Miami Beach, the median rent for a three-bedroom, single-family home is $4,489, according to Rent Range, which compiles and analyzes rental market data nationwide.

The company provided Bankrate with a list of the top 10 most expensive rental markets for a three-bedroom, single-family houses:

Top 10 most expensive rental markets

North Miami Beach, Fla.: $4,489

La Jolla, Calif.: $3,922

Santa Monica, Calif.: $3,658

Newport Beach, Calif.: $3,550

Dana Point, Calif.: $3,446

Miami Beach, Fla.: $3,421

New York, N.Y.: $3,247

Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.: $3,240

Bethesda, Md.: $3,225

Sherman Oaks, Calif.: $3,089

San Francisco, which normally tops the list of most expensive cities to rent in, ranks 16th on the list of three-bedrooms, says Wally Charnoff, chief executive officer of Rent Range. For one-bedroom homes, San Francisco ranks as the most expensive city, followed by New York, he says.

Why are these cities so expensive? As usual, when it comes to real estate, it's all about location.

"They have geographic appeal, more economic stability, and they attract wealthier people," he says.

Regardless of location, if you think you're paying too much for rent, maybe it's time to consider taking advantage of today's low mortgage rates and attractive home prices. This Bankrate quiz can help you decide whether you should rent or buy.

Follow me on Twitter @Polyanad.

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December 30, 2012 at 11:00 am

As a small property owner in SF, who has a few units to rent out - I would say that Rent Control has proven to be ineffective overall and has backfired on all people who want to rent in our City - causing it to be one of the most expensive places to live besides NYC, Santa Monica and Miami - which all have Rent Control laws in place. Hmmmm.. Under Rent Control I give up my right to do what I want with my property once I rent it out. Renters have a right to occupy your property forever as long as they are paying rent on time. Thats cool.. I get the whole renters rights thing. However, because of Rent Control - the only leverage i have is to rent my units for as much as I possibly can - which drives up monthly rents overall across the City.
Rent Control does not afford me the ability to give someone a "good deal" or to help out an older citizen with an affordable monthly rent. Its very sad because I would do so if I could rent a unit to someone without being held to the draconian rules of the SF rental ordinance.

Try owning some rental units in SF - you'll sing a different tune. The only people who benefit from Rent Control are the Politicians and Tenants Rights advocates who have their own agendas to tend to. The day they go after de-vacancy control on monthly rent is the day I start the process to get out of the rental business and sell off the house I grew up here in San Francisco. Which of course removes units from the market and drives up cost by lowering supply. Rent Control simply doesn't work for all involved in its current form.

Oh and if your wondering.. in SF you can't just jack up someone rent each year. Under the ordinance you can only raise rent by a small % which is tied to some strange Index they use. Last year the Annual Allowable rent increase was 0.5% while SF Property Tax went up 1.9% Hello - and they wonder why the "greedy landlords" want out of the business of subsidizing housing? C'mon folks even "greedy landlords" have heart - but we're not going be stupid. -APS

December 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

Landlords know they can gouge people on rent prices. Rent goes up every year. And it is not much cheaper to own no matter what some may say. A 150k house can easily end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in up keep within as little as a few years of owning depending where you live.



Maybe the landlord isn't "gouging". Maybe he's increasing rent b/c of the "tens of thousands of dollars in up keep"? Stop trying to be a victim.

December 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

Your rent will increase more next year.

There is a new tax on rental income that will, ehm, eventually be passed on to the renter.

Say thank you to the clowns who passed that nearly 3,000 page boondoggle.

December 25, 2012 at 10:29 am

I live in Michigan and have always been amazed about how expensive living in California is. A nice house that goes for 250,000 here is about 600 grand in California and the houses are practially identical. How come a gallon of milk at the party stores and gas stations here is cheaper than the grocery store price of milk out there? It must be all about living where the movie stars are. New York and Miami are expensive,too.I'm going to have to google it, but I wonder if the minimum wage in California is the same as it is here in Michigan.

Semper Mortis
December 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

Greed has just about ruined our nation! I don’t doubt that someone has a lot of money invested in the house/apartment that they are renting out but some local government pass laws just to make them money, adding to the cost of renting.
In Gadsden Alabama, a couple years ago instead of just inspecting the property like the city legally could have. They added an ordinance* that makes the Landlord have to pay for a home inspection – permit to rent. Nothing else was added to the list of standards that a dwelling must meet to be deemed livable. Any extra cost the landlord has is handed over to the renter. I have noticed that more and more cities are adding these “taxes” to generate more revenue.

*This new renter inspection ordinance was put into place because as the city said there was just too many “slumlords”. Here is my problem; the city already had the authority to inspect any dwelling within the city limits. The new ordinance does nothing but forces the Landlord to pay for a service that the city was by their own laws/ordinances suppose to be doing anyways!

December 24, 2012 at 7:34 am

I'm with disabled vet. It's getting hard everywhere to make rent and still eat. My health is bad because I am a disabled and my rent is 1,000 a month w/o utilities in New Hampshire. I don't like city life so NY city can have their high rent and high crime. I would rather be poor in New Hampshire then in a city. The local Church food pantries help with starchy foods and day old bread and pastry. I get meat maybe once a month but it is ok as I never ate it much. I think quality of life is more important then the address. At least I payed in all my quarters and get SSID so I don't need to live in the projects. Of course I am not eligiable for food stamps or Medicaid but it is a small price to pay to live in a clean, safe town with good services.

December 24, 2012 at 6:45 am

Gee $1065 for a 2 bedroom one bath apartment that was built for low income. Here its credit ratings. I am a disable vet who now has cancer. Talk about raw deals. with paying for aid to attend my needs I barely survive each month. had to go back to 99 Cent store to get my dream list as my son calls it. Is this why my tumors are growing again? poor diet and stress. Not to mention the downside of this apartment. Live here in Vacaville CA because of my daughter who lives with my spouse.

December 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm

I live in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Glenshaw(Shaler)PA. $500 a month covers my 3 room apartment's rent, electric, and gas. (Heat included.) 15 minutes from downtown, 15 minutes to the countryside dotted with farms. Good paying jobs in tech, healthcare, and manufacturing all within at most a 45 minute's drive. Community pools, fireworks, parks, low crime, well maintained roads, and a good k-12 school district highlight this 'burb. Not to mention it is a bird sanctuary. This is not unique, however, of the entire North Hills area of Pittsburgh. If you don't like experiencing the four seasons, take a 2 week vacation in January.

December 23, 2012 at 12:45 am

I would like to know where they found a single three bedroom apartment for for $3200 in NyC much less enough to state it as a median? This data is 100% incorrect.

December 22, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I like the comment on landlords that gouge their tenants. I happen to be one of those landlords who rents out a three bedroom home in La Jolla. The house I rent out is under 1300 square feet, and I charge over $3,500 / month in rent. Yes, this is a lot of money for such a small house. Guess what, after I pay my mortgage, taxes, insurance and maintenance I lose over $500 each month. That is after I put 20% down on the mortgage. I'm not complaining as I knew the math on renting this place when I purchased it. I just have to laugh at those who somehow thing a landlord like me is taking advantage of the people who rent from them.

Oh, and I have never forced anyone to rent from me. Prospective tenants could save over $1,000/month just 5 miles inland from my place.