Special Report

This City Has the Lowest Rents in America

KentWeakley / iStock via Getty Images

As many Americans have moved due to the pandemic, particularly from large cities on the East and West Coasts, in search of a better quality of life, home prices have surged. People also have been able to relocate because more companies have allowed employees to work from home. In addition, low mortgage rates also contributed to rising home sales. However, not all people want to buy a home, and many are renting.

To determine rents in U.S. cities, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from Realtor.com, which ranked the 50 largest metropolitan areas based on median monthly rent as of May 2021. The city with the lowest rents in America is Oklahoma City. This is the least expensive metro area to buy a home in every state.

Rent prices from city to city vary widely. In Realtor.com’s Monthly Rental Report, Chief Economist Danielle Hale explained, “Led by emerging tech markets and secondary cities, U.S. median rent prices reached the highest level seen in more than two years in May, surpassing pre-COVID levels.” Hale added that rents in more than three-quarters of the 50 largest cities climbed at an average annual pace of 9.1% – nearly double the overall inflation rate of 5%.

While rents in large coastal cities have remained high, they have not risen sharply. In some cases, they actually dropped year over year in May. Rents in Los Angeles fell 0.5% to $2,581, which still makes the city among the most expensive in the country. Rents in San Francisco fell 8.3% to $2,715. By contrast, in Memphis, a medium-sized inland city in Tennessee, rents rose by 17.2% year over year to $1,092 in May. Rents in Phoenix rose 16.8% to $1,543.

Among the 50 largest markets, one stands out with the lowest median rent by far. The rate per month in Oklahoma City was $834, up by 5.6%. No other city had a median rent figure below $1,000. Even struggling Detroit had a median rent of $1,159, up 6.3%.

Notably, Oklahoma City is one of the smallest metropolitan areas on the list. It ranks 41st on the list of largest metropolitan areas in America, with a population of 1,425,375. Still, it is the largest in its state. This is the largest city in every state.

Click here to see which city has the lowest rents in America

To determine the city with the lowest rent in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from Realtor.com, a subsidiary of News Corp. and the listing website of the National Association of Realtors. The 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas were ranked based on median monthly rent as of May 2021. Supplemental data on the percentage of occupied households occupied by renters, the percentage of renters paying 35% or more of their income on rent, and the average household size of rental units came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey and are one-year estimates.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

1. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,536
> Households occupied by renters: 35.7%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 39.6%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.49 rooms

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2. Austin-Round Rock, TX
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,421
> Households occupied by renters: 42.4%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 36.3%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.36 rooms

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

3. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,600
> Households occupied by renters: 33.6%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 40.0%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.34 rooms

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

4. Birmingham-Hoover, AL
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,039
> Households occupied by renters: 32.3%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 40.2%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.28 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

5. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
> Overall median monthly rent: $2,400
> Households occupied by renters: 38.5%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 39.3%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.23 rooms

Source: Jacek_Sopotnicki / Getty Images

6. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,144
> Households occupied by renters: 34.3%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 40.6%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 1.93 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

7. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,400
> Households occupied by renters: 34.6%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 35.5%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.45 rooms

Source: Ron_Thomas / Getty Images

8. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,650
> Households occupied by renters: 35.6%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 38.3%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.29 rooms

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

9. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,149
> Households occupied by renters: 33.1%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 35.6%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.15 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

10. Cleveland-Elyria, OH
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,085
> Households occupied by renters: 35.8%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 36.4%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.04 rooms

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

11. Columbus, OH
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,124
> Households occupied by renters: 39.1%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 33.0%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.32 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

12. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,339
> Households occupied by renters: 40.5%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 37.4%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.55 rooms

Source: photoquest7 / Getty Images

13. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,755
> Households occupied by renters: 35.7%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 39.3%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.28 rooms

Source: Steven_Kriemadis / Getty Images

14. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,159
> Households occupied by renters: 30.4%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 40.6%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.20 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

15. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,500
> Households occupied by renters: 34.1%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 39.5%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.11 rooms

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

16. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,250
> Households occupied by renters: 39.9%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 40.9%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.61 rooms

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Source: f11photo / Getty Images

17. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,093
> Households occupied by renters: 34.8%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 36.6%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.23 rooms

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

18. Jacksonville, FL
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,260
> Households occupied by renters: 34.0%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 40.4%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.42 rooms

Source: TriggerPhoto / Getty Images

19. Kansas City, MO-KS
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,109
> Households occupied by renters: 34.9%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 34.7%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.23 rooms

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Source: f11photo / Getty Images

20. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,340
> Households occupied by renters: 45.7%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 42.6%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.64 rooms

Source: choness / Getty Images

21. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
> Overall median monthly rent: $2,581
> Households occupied by renters: 51.8%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 46.2%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.85 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

22. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,005
> Households occupied by renters: 32.8%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 33.9%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.32 rooms

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

23. Memphis, TN-MS-AR
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,092
> Households occupied by renters: 41.2%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 42.9%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.47 rooms

Source: littleny / Getty Images

24. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
> Overall median monthly rent: $2,000
> Households occupied by renters: 40.8%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 51.4%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.75 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

25. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,355
> Households occupied by renters: 40.1%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 37.5%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.19 rooms

Source: StevenGaertner / Getty Images

26. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,468
> Households occupied by renters: 29.8%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 35.7%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.17 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

27. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,390
> Households occupied by renters: 34.2%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 35.5%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.34 rooms

Source: Konoplytska / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

28. New Orleans-Metairie, LA
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,350
> Households occupied by renters: 36.6%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 43.1%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.37 rooms

Source: GCShutter / Getty Images

29. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
> Overall median monthly rent: $2,400
> Households occupied by renters: 49.2%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 41.0%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.45 rooms

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

30. Oklahoma City, OK
> Overall median monthly rent: $834
> Households occupied by renters: 36.7%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 36.3%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.49 rooms

Source: LUNAMARINA / Getty Images

31. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,444
> Households occupied by renters: 38.1%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 46.8%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.85 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

32. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,600
> Households occupied by renters: 33.3%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 41.6%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.25 rooms

Source: JacobH / Getty Images

33. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,543
> Households occupied by renters: 35.4%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 37.1%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.67 rooms

Source: HaizhanZheng / Getty Images

34. Pittsburgh, PA
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,334
> Households occupied by renters: 31.8%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 33.9%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 1.85 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

35. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,595
> Households occupied by renters: 38.2%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 40.7%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.29 rooms

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

36. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,750
> Households occupied by renters: 38.0%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 38.1%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.20 rooms

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

37. Raleigh, NC
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,318
> Households occupied by renters: 34.4%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 35.1%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.37 rooms

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

38. Richmond, VA
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,233
> Households occupied by renters: 33.7%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 43.5%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.38 rooms

Source: MattGush / Getty Images

39. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
> Overall median monthly rent: $2,020
> Households occupied by renters: 36.1%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 46.4%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 3.21 rooms

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Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

40. Rochester, NY
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,200
> Households occupied by renters: 33.7%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 41.3%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.06 rooms

Source: Jeff A. / Yelp

41. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,760
> Households occupied by renters: 39.6%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 44.9%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.65 rooms

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

42. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,105
> Households occupied by renters: 37.3%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 38.8%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.80 rooms

43. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
> Overall median monthly rent: $2,389
> Households occupied by renters: 46.2%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 45.2%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.77 rooms

Source: Nicolas McComber / Getty Images

44. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
> Overall median monthly rent: $2,715
> Households occupied by renters: 46.0%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 35.0%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.54 rooms

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Source: NicolasMcComber / Getty Images

45. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
> Overall median monthly rent: $2,795
> Households occupied by renters: 44.8%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 36.4%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.81 rooms

Source: july7th / Getty Images

46. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,850
> Households occupied by renters: 40.3%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 37.7%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.27 rooms

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

47. St. Louis, MO-IL
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,145
> Households occupied by renters: 30.8%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 35.6%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.05 rooms

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

48. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,520
> Households occupied by renters: 33.3%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 43.7%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.48 rooms

Source: Oliver Kawwass / Getty Images

49. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,272
> Households occupied by renters: 38.9%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 38.2%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.37 rooms

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Source: f11photo / Getty Images

50. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
> Overall median monthly rent: $1,931
> Households occupied by renters: 36.5%
> Renters paying 35% or more of income on rent: 36.8%
> Avg. household size of rental units: 2.50 rooms

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