Ah, Cincinnati. The Queen City. The city where Mark Twain said, “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always 20 years behind the times."
We'd hate to argue with a literary legend, but Mr. Twain had it all wrong. The Cincinnati of today is a truly wonderful place to live. According to New York City-based financial tech company SmartAsset, Cincinnati is among the top 10 cities in the nation for young professionals (the Queen City ranks No. 6 nationwide and No. 1 in Ohio).
Cincinnati is also home to two top-notch universities, three professional sports teams (including the Reds, baseball's oldest team), exceptional restaurants and entertainment venues, Procter & Gamble, Graeter's Ice Cream, the Cincinnati Zoo's world-famous Fiona the hippopotamus and many quality, award-winning craft breweries to count.
Cincinnati also is an easy drive from numerous other fantastic Midwest cities.
But what was that about average rent?
The average rent in Cincinnati for a one-bedroom apartment is $967. That's down more than 10 percent year over year and a whopping $631 less than the national average of $1,598. The cost of living is also lower than the national average — by nearly 7 percent.
Cincinnati has 52 individual and distinct neighborhoods, so there's a bit of fluctuation in that average rent number. This just means Cincinnati has even more opportunities for you — in commuting distance, recreation and entertainment.
Experts suggest you spend no more than 30 percent of your pre-tax income on rent. To live comfortably in Cincinnati, you will need to earn a minimum of $38,680.
Meanwhile, the average professional salary in Cincinnati is $66,000, which leaves transplants with plenty of cash to pursue hobbies and entertainment and have some leftovers for saving.
If you'd like to confirm the math involved in determining how much you can afford in rent and the minimum salary you'll need to make a go of it in Cincinnati, check out our handy rent calculator.
If this city sounds like it might be the right place for you, then it's time to consider the other costs to factor into your budget. These are the everyday costs associated with, well, living. Determining their average prices compared to the national averages and the averages of other locations you're considering is an excellent way to assess a city's affordability.
Altogether, these everyday expenses result in the cost of living index. Overall, Cincinnati's cost of living index stands at 93.3, which means Cincinnati is a far more affordable city to live in than many others — 6.7 percent more affordable than the average American city.
Compared with national averages, here's what you can expect to pay for various essentials in Cincinnati:
As you can see, Cincinnati is a highly affordable city.
That Cincinnati has 52 separate and distinct neighborhoods makes the city unique. Apartments on the west side of the city cost less than those on the east side, downtown or north.
Fortunately, the average rent in Cincinnati neighborhoods comes with rich cultural opportunities, restaurants and housing and rental price points of all kinds. There's something for every taste — modern to classic, bougie to utilitarian.
The cost of rent in the Central Business District dropped more than 7 percent in the last year, it's still a popular rental destination. Its proximity to multiple designated entertainment districts, excellent city parks and many corporate and independent employers is unbeatable.
Walnut Hills is one of those places you'll wish you'd discovered a couple of years ago before shiny new apartment buildings went up and architectural gems converted into modern-day apartments. Walnut Hills also encompasses several medical centers. As such, many hospital employees choose to live in the area.
Madisonville is the hottest of hot neighborhoods, which is a bit startling given the humbleness of the neighborhood just a few years ago. Madisonville features beautiful old houses and a shopping and dining area going through significant revitalization. Rent prices have increased by more than 21 percent over the last year.
Over-the Rhine is one of Cincinnati's favorite neighborhoods with breweries, restaurants, arts venues, parks and an avid social scene. Revitalization, while slowing down considerably from five years ago, continues. Everyone wants to call OTR home!
Hyde Park draws the attention of a lot of young professionals. It's a pretty neighborhood with a mix of modern box houses, Tudors, lavish estates and meticulously renovated old homes. Hyde Park also offers upscale dining, shopping, galleries and a popular farmers market. It's just minutes to everything while still being a decidedly residential neighborhood.
|Rank||Neighborhood||1BR Average Rent||YoY Rent Price Changes|
|3||Central Business District||$1,477||-7.42%|
Westwood is Cincinnati's largest neighborhood, located on the westernmost edge of the city. Once a flourishing community, Westwood isn't as popular a destination for renters anymore. The neighborhood does have many amenities though — plus it is close to the zoo and Mt. Airy Forest and is particularly dog-friendly.
College Hill is one of the city's northern-most neighborhoods, and rumors abound that it might be one of the city's next hot locales. Surprisingly not near an existing college, College Hill is rich in diversity. Add in attractive period architecture and the support of a powerful and dedicated redevelopment corporation — you can see why College Hill is known as the next big thing.
The Heights is the urban Cincinnati neighborhood that the University of Cincinnati calls home. Like many college neighborhoods, The Heights is diverse in many aspects, from its population and demographics to restaurants, bars and entertainment opportunities. You can find the best ethnic dining in the city here as well as one of the best live music venues, Bogart's.
East Price Hill is also on the cusp of revitalization. This is great for this historic neighborhood that has experienced more than its fair share of downtimes. A few years ago, people started flocking to this area thanks to the opening of a still-popular restaurant, stunning city views and much more affordable renting costs than in neighborhoods like OTR.
Pleasant Ridge is a charming old neighborhood with pockets of genuinely exquisite homes. Its business district has seen numerous popular new restaurants open. A classic vinyl shop and other businesses that have been there for decades round out the good stuff. Rent prices, while still highly affordable, have increased by about 12 percent in the last year.
|Rank||Neighborhood||1BR Average Rent||YoY Rent Price Changes|
The cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment ranges from $609 a month in Westwood to $1,529 in Walnut Hills. But you can't go wrong with any Cincinnati neighborhood; you'll love this city's diversity, arts and entertainment, restaurants and outdoor recreation options. For average rents throughout the city, please see below.
|Neighborhood||1BR Average Rent||YoY Rent Price Changes|
|Central Business District||$1,477||-7.42%|
|East Price Hill||$731||N/A|
More than 26 million people visited Cincinnati in 2017, thanks partly to a spate of positive stories and rankings from the media, including a New York Times “36 Hours In" travel piece.
Cincinnati is also considered a hometown so nice that it's said the young professionals who move away after college tend to return to Cincinnati to raise their own families.
And lucky you; with so many Cincinnati apartments for rent in a variety of great neighborhoods to choose from, you should have no problem finding an area that has everything in a city that offers even more, all without needing to break your budget.