Brian Carberry
Amazon HQ2 Boston Skyline

As you’ve probably heard by now, 20 cities are in the running to land Amazon’s second North American headquarters (HQ2).

The e-commerce giant finished visiting the HQ2 finalists last week and is expected to make a decision by the end of the year.

Amazon HQ2 is expected to create up to 50,000 jobs in whichever location the company selects, plus pump billions of dollars into the local economy. Amazon says it will consider a handful of factors in its decision, including the city’s ability to attract top tech talent, existing and future infrastructure plans and proximity to a major airport.

Apartment Guide examined the 19 cities in the U.S. on Amazon’s list (we did not include Toronto) to determine how entry-level apartment rental prices are changing in these markets.

Apartment rental price changes in Amazon HQ2 finalist cities

chart of amazon hq2 rental price changes
Click to open larger version

Source: RentPath internal data of average entry-level apartment rental prices, May 2017 through May 2018.
1Includes Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Sterling
2Includes Bethesda and Silver Spring
3Includes Dallas and Fort Worth
4Includes Fishers and Indianapolis
5Includes Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island City, New York and Staten Island

New York saw the largest increase in average rental prices with a 9 percent growth since May 2017. The market was followed by Columbus, Ohio, and Philadelphia at a 7 percent increase. Miami and Boston round out the top five.

Interesting to note, both Atlanta and Nashville, Tenn, saw a slight decrease in average rental prices compared to the same time last year. Rates in Northern Virginia remained fairly even.

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Average Apartment Rental Prices in Amazon HQ2 Finalist Cities

amazon hq average rental prices
Click to open larger version

Source: RentPath internal data of average entry-level apartment rental prices, May 2018.
1Includes Fishers and Indianapolis
2Includes Dallas and Fort Worth
3Includes Bethesda and Silver Spring
4Includes Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Sterling
5Includes Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island City, New York and Staten Island

Boston has the highest average rent ($2,605) of all the Amazon finalist cities. Apartment rentals in New York and Los Angeles also average more than $2,000 per month. Washington D.C. and Miami round out the top five most expensive markets on this list.

If you’re looking for a bargain, four cities on the list still average rent for under $1,000: Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Raleigh, N.C., and Dallas.

Renters in whichever city lands Amazon HQ2 can expect to see apartment prices in their area increase. The final impact is still unknown, but it’s definitely something we’ll be monitoring closely.

The rent information included in this article is based on current rental property inventory on ApartmentGuide.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

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About The Author

The managing editor of Apartment Guide and rent.com, Brian Carberry has more than 10 years' experience as a content creator and award-winning journalist. Brian's work has been featured on CNN, Search Engine Land, Randstad and a number of other organizations around the world. In his free time, Brian enjoys sports, cooking and debating the correct pronunciation of "gif."

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