The Most Expensive Square Feet in the Nation: 20 Metros Where Rented Space Really Costs You

In a previous article, Apartment Guide looked at internal data to determine apartment rent costs per square foot nationwide. We learned the median rent for an entry-level apartment — $769 in April of this year — and how much space that amount would rent in metropolitan areas (metros) around the country.

Below is an expanded list to include the twenty most expensive metros for renting by square foot based on internal apartment listings data on Apartment Guide in May 2014.

Note that you can adjust the slider in either direction to display metros according to their relative expense by square foot.

Keep an eye on what your renting dollar can buy in some of the most desired places to live in the country!

Metro rank

Price per square foot

1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

$2.93

2 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA

$2.62

3 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

$2.40

4 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

$2.28

5 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

$2.13

6 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA

$2.07

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

$2.05

8 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

$1.95

9 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA

$1.86

10 New Haven-Milford, CT

$1.69

11 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

$1.57

12 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

$1.48

13 Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

$1.47

14 Trenton-Ewing, NJ

$1.46

15 Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO

$1.44

16 Baltimore-Towson, MD

$1.42

17 Madison, WI

$1.42

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

$1.40

19 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

$1.39

20 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT

$1.37

Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, the fifth most expensive metro area to rent by square foot.

Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, the fifth most expensive metro area to rent by square foot.

Quick notes

  • The Northeast is home to seven of these metros.
  • Six of the top twenty most expensive metros are in California.
  • Chicago, IL, and Madison, WI, rank most expensive in the Midwest.
  • Only one metro, Seattle, is situated in the Northwest.
  • Miami is the Southern-most metro on the list.
  • The difference between the most expensive metro (San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA at $2.93) and the least expensive (Springfield, MO at $0.72) per square foot is $2.21.
The Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, WA, the 11th most expensive metro to rent by square foot.

The Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, WA, the 11th most expensive metro to rent by square foot.

Check out more data discoveries from Apartment Guide:

Methodology
In May 2014, looking at internal data, Apartment Guide first identified both the lowest price and the lowest square footage for an entry-level apartment for each property in a metro area (CBSA) listed on ApartmentGuide.com. Then, these values were compared across all other similar properties in the same metro to arrive at the median entry-level price per square foot for that metro. Metros were included where Apartment Guide lists at least 30 properties.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Aperture51, Apartment Guide

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