Upgrading to a 2BR Apartment? Here’s Where It’ll Cost You the Most

Considering a move to a larger apartment? Wondering if you can afford a second bedroom?

We wondered the same thing and decided to look at our data to see what metro areas had the biggest percentage rent increase from one bedroom to two bedrooms.

For March 2014 in metros with at least 50 apartment listings, we looked at the lowest-price one bedroom and two bedroom apartment units to determine the average percentage increase between the two inside the same community. We included only apartment listings for which there were both one and two bedroom offerings located on the same property.

The Top Ten

1 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

34%

2 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

32%

3 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX

32%

4 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX

30%

5 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA

29%

6 Tulsa, OK

28%

7 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

28%

8 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

28%

9 Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO

26%

10 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI

26%

They say everything’s bigger in Texas…
If you live in one of four major metros in Texas, there’s a premium on that extra bedroom. In fact, the top four cities on our list of average highest one versus two bedroom rent rates are Texas metros. These four Texas areas are the only ones on our list with 30% or greater increases between average one and two bedroom apartment rental rates.

The CBS affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth recently attributed the booming rental market to high-paying jobs for younger people. According to national market analysis manager for MPF Research, Jay Parsons, “the apartment market key segment is the folks between the ages of 20 to 34-year-olds, and that segment has grown in DFW (Dallas and Fort Worth) by about 8-percent in the past five years,” helping the rental market there reach a more than 94-percent occupancy rate.

This growth in apartment demand may help explain why Dallas/Fort Worth tops our list. On average, it costs 34% more to rent a two bedroom apartment than a one bedroom in this rental market.

Where you might opt to move up
What about the other end of the spectrum?

It is least expensive, on average, to make the same move in these spots:

Birmingham-Hoover, AL

16%

Reno-Sparks, NV

16%

Columbus, GA-AL

16%

Akron, OH

16%

Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC

16%

Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL

16%

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

15%

Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA

15%

Fayetteville, NC

13%

Fresno, CA

12%

In Reno, renting a two bedroom apartment is less of a gamble!

Metros that fall somewhere in the middle
Several major markets fall more to the middle range, in our look at the data.

  • Portland, Oregon – arguably as hip a city as Austin – costs less on average to make the switch from one to two bedrooms.
  • For a time last year, Nashville, Tennessee, had the highest percentage rent growth in the nation. But renting a two bedroom apartment in the city is only, on average, 22% more expensive than renting a one bedroom – a more reasonable difference than in about 25 other metro areas on our list.
  • Major metros like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and the Washington, D.C., area are not at the top of this list, despite their popularity — and relatively high rent rates.

To read about renting projections in 2014, check out “The State of Renting: ‘Realty’ Check 2014.”

Methodology: On March 17, 2014, in CBSAs (Core Based Statistical Areas, also commonly referred to as metros) with at least 50 apartment listings on ApartmentGuide.com, we looked at the lowest-price one bedroom and two bedroom apartment units to determine the average percentage increase between the two inside the same community. We included only apartment listings for which there were both one and two bedroom offerings located on the same property.

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