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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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who are you?
December 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I have lived in California my entire life. Originally from Sacramento. Rent is not too bad there. Moved to Stockton 10 years ago and paid 1000.00 per month for a four bedroom. We now live in Lompoc, which leaves a lot to be desired and we pay 1200.00 for a two bedroom duplex. Go 50 miles south to Santa Barbara and that triples, I think the further south you go in Ca. the higher the rent.... :(

December 20, 2012 at 3:34 am

I bet they didn't research Hawaii at all for this article having live there as a renter it is definitely higher than the majority of this list. $4500 a month for a 2 bedroom shack not to mention an $800+ electric bill. I don't think they even included hawaii.

December 20, 2012 at 3:15 am

I'm actually shocked Boston didn't make it on this list. Rent is ridiculous over here.

December 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm

The list is misleading in regards to New York City. If you eliminate the outer buroughs and just average Manhattan, your looking at rents in the 10's of thousands per month. You can live in Queens in a basement for 1k a month or Staten Island in a house for 1,800 a month, but in Manhattan from GW Bridge south you are looking at $1,500 for a closet in a 6 story walk-up and as you go downtown you get closer and closer to 10k a month. yes there are pockets around Manhattan for less but totally undesirable areas

December 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I'm somewhat surprised also. Having been raised in Bethesda and moving to Newport and then Miami, Ill stick to visiting because it just isn't worth the money to live in any of those cities now.v

December 19, 2012 at 11:24 am

I prefer to visit California and I'll take the Tampa Bay area over the expensive Miami region.

Voice of Reason
December 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

Hey those places are nice, but I can live anywhere else in this country for a quarter of that per month and visit anytime I want. Who whould pay that amount of money!!!!!

December 19, 2012 at 9:00 am

...and after having lived there off and on since the 60's, I'd say it's hardly worth it. With the exception of Northern Cal I wouldn't go back for living...visiting is too much of a headache as it is. Sorry it used to be the place to live, no longer.

December 19, 2012 at 8:45 am

I lived in one of them, Newport Beach and have been to most of these other cities listed and this list is very accurate. California is expensive no matter where you live in the state.

December 19, 2012 at 12:52 am

this is surprising actually