Spending

Here are the top 10 major U.S. cities with the cheapest rents

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Key Points
  • Housing accounted for 35% of all consumer spending in February, with the average American spending $1,151.
  • Overall, renters have experienced a 15% increase in housings costs since February 2021.
  • "Rents are up $284 per month through February as well, making it much harder for renters to save up for the largest hurdle to home ownership: the down payment," one expert says.

Despite rising gas and grocery prices, housing remains the biggest cost to Americans, according to recent data from Morning Consult. Housing accounted for 35% of all consumer spending in February, with the average American shelling out $1,151.

Not all Americans are being affected equally, though. Members of Gen Z reported the largest increase in housing prices, with their monthly spending rising 34% from last year. Those earning less than $50,000 experienced the largest increasing in housing prices, compared to middle-income and high-income earners.

Overall, renters have experienced a 15% increase in housings costs since February 2021.

And as mortgage rates rise, it becomes more expensive to buy, meaning homeownership gets more and more out of reach. That in turn boosts demand for rentals and allows landlords to charge more.

"Rents are up $284 per month through February as well, making it much harder for renters to save up for the largest hurdle to home ownership — the down payment," says Zillow spokesperson Mark Stayton.

Even with recent increases, there are major cities that still offer reasonable rents. Here are the top 10 cities where rent is cheapest for a two-bedroom property, according to furniture shopping site Living Cozy.

10. Raleigh, North Carolina

Average rent: $1,298

9. Fresno, California

Average rent: $1,217

8. Louisville, Kentucky

Average rent: $1,197

7. Omaha, Nebraska

Average rent: $1,166

6. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Average rent: $1,053

5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Average rent: $1,044

4. Memphis, Tennessee

Average rent: $1,042

3. Tucson, Arizona

Average rent: $1,032

2. El Paso, Texas

Average rent: $1,020

1. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Average rent: $895

If you don't want to relocate but rent in your city continues to climb, be sure to communicate with your landlord. Some tenants are able to negotiate payment plans. Landlords might also give you a deal for signing a longer lease.

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