As of this March, it’s estimated almost 300 new people move to Houston every day. After Dallas Fort Worth, Houston has seen the largest net increase in population out of all U.S. cities from 2010-2017, growing 16.4% and adding more than 500 new residents to the city’s census. It’s also in the top 20 cities millennials are moving to, according to SmartAsset.com. All those numbers come down to one undeniable fact: if you’re thinking about moving to Houston, you’re not alone.
But why is this city getting so much attention, and so many new people? First off, Texas itself has a lot of benefits. It’s one of only a few states with no income tax, enjoys sunny weather and almost no snow, and has a famously low cost of living (read: big houses at low prices). Like Austin, Houston is one of the most progressive cities in Texas, making it a premier destination for millennials.
Houston is home to Baylor Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, so you’ll always be close to exceptional healthcare providers. And Houston’s exponential growth in the last decade has also brought in plenty of work opportunities, specifically in the medical, manufacturing, and energy fields. Additionally, despite all this growth, Houston has remained charmingly Southern, with a unique urban vibe, safe and friendly neighborhoods, and of course, some of the best food in the South.
Since the demand for housing in Houston is so high, it’s important to understand how to navigate the rental market in Houston before signing a lease. To help you out, let’s take a look at recent rent changes for Houston, TX.
Average Rent in Houston
Interestingly, despite Houston’s explosive growth, rent prices in the city have remained largely unchanged from 2018-2019. On average, apartments in Houston only increased their monthly rent by about $9 in the last year (year-over-year growth was only 0.8%). Of the cities in America that did increase rent, this is the lowest rent increase rate in the nation!
Today, the average rent in Houston is $1,092 per month, up from $1,040 from this time last year.
As Houston continues to grow, increasing housing demands will likely lead to more increases in rent. However, the small increase margin should give residents hope that living in Houston will remain an affordable choice for both young professionals and families.
Houston Rental Prices By Neighborhood
Like most major metropolises, rent prices in Houston can vary greatly depending on the neighborhood you live in. Apartments in or near downtown are some of the most expensive options, due to their proximity to both job opportunities and city attractions. When considering what Houston neighborhood is right for you, take into account the median rent for each area, to ensure you stay within your budget.
Currently, the median rent in the two most expensive neighborhoods in Houston is:
In contrast, the neighborhoods in Houston with the least expensive rents are:
Far North: $759
As more and more millennials move to Houston and the surrounding area, rent prices in the city’s most hip neighborhood have risen in response. Here are the average rents in some of Houston’s most popular millennial neighborhoods:
West University: $1,603
Upper Kirby: $2,000
River Oaks: 1,906
Not surprisingly, most of these hip neighborhoods also have some of the best nightlife in the area. With great nightlife comes breweries, honky-tonks and dive bars, but the craft breweries are the trendy scene for young professionals.
Houston Rent by Apartment Size
Wondering how big apartments are in Houston? The average one-bedroom apartment in this Texas destination is 879 square feet. While Houston apartments for rent are smaller than those in cities like Tallahassee and Atlanta, you’ll have more living space in Houston than you would in Seattle or Washington DC.
Generally, larger apartments will have higher rents, but you can predict the approximate rent of apartments you see based on their square footage. The average price per square foot in Houston is $0.80. In comparison, the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex has a price per foot of $1.25, meaning you’ll pay nearly double in rent by the foot!
Living in Houston, you can save upwards of $300 per month by choosing a 1 bedroom apartment instead of a two-bedroom rental. In fact, 56% of Houston renters pay less than $1,00 per month in rent, mostly by choosing smaller apartments. In contrast, only 5% of people living in Houston rentals pay more than $2,000 per month for their apartment or condo.
Houston Rent Trends
Looking at rent changes in Houston can give us many insights into where new residents should choose to live, and how much they should expect to pay for a rental property. But how does Houston compare with other areas in the South, and other cities around the country? Let’s look at the bigger picture to get a better idea of Houston’s place on the national playing field for rent.
Apartments in Houston and the South
In a twist that surprises no one, renting in the South continues to be more affordable than the Northeast or the West Coast. In fact, living in the Northeast can cost more than double the price of an apartment in the South or Midwest regions of the U.S.
Across the South, the demand for, and prices of, smaller apartments, especially studio apartments, have been rising. In Southern states, the price of a studio increased a stunning 8.1% from 2017 to 2018. Yet in the same time period, the Houston rent increase in 2018 for smaller apartments was only a 4%. Even when compared with other parts of the South, Houston stands out as a low-cost option for urban living.
Prices in Houston and the U.S.
The national average rent is currently at an all-time high of $1,492 per month, after steady rises every year since 2011. National year-over-year rent increase data shows a steady upward trend of about 4-5% across the nation that isn’t likely to slow down any time soon.
In Comparison, Houston apartments for rent continue to be more affordable than the national average; folks living in this Southern city save, on average, about $200 per month when compared to national rent prices. When compared to metropolitan areas of a similar population, Houston’s affordability becomes even more clear: renting in Houston is about $700 cheaper per month than Chicago, IL, and $400 cheaper than Philadelphia.
Understanding rent changes and trends can help you accurately predict your cost of living, and choose the right neighborhood or apartment to live in. Looking for more information on living in Houston? Our Trending City guide can help you decide if this city is right for you.