View Full Version : Big Cities with low rents

03-28-2008, 02:08 PM
What do you know.....

Biggest cities, lowest rents 2008 - SlideShow - MSN Real Estate - 1 (

03-28-2008, 02:24 PM
Thats great! BizWeek is a huge magazine, a lot of people will see this.

03-28-2008, 03:01 PM
Great find!

03-28-2008, 03:07 PM

Big cities, low rents - Rentals - MSN Real Estate (


Biggest cities, lowest rents 2008 - SlideShow - MSN Real Estate - 1 (

No. 1: Oklahoma City
Population: 1.18 million
Average rent: $519
12-month increase in rent: 4.2%
Median income: $46,762
Share of income used for rent: 13.3%

No. 2: Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, S.C.
Population: 1.07 million
Average rent: $617
12-month increase in rent: 4.4%
Median income: $39,601
Share of income used for rent: 18.7%

No. 3: Louisville, Ky.-Ind.
Population: 1.24 million
Average rent: $627
12-month increase in rent: 3.6%
Median income: $48,221
Share of income used for rent: 15.6%

No. 4: Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, N.C.
Population: 1.31 million
Average rent: $645
12-month increase in rent: 3.9%
Median income: $40,183
Share of income used for rent: 19.3%

No. 5: Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.
Population: 1.29 million
Average rent: $662
12-month increase in rent: 2.5%
Median income: $43,570
Share of income used for rent: 18.2%

No. 6: Indianapolis
Population: 1.69 million
Average rent: $663
12-month increase in rent: 3.8%
Median income: $55,066
Share of income used for rent: 14.4%

No. 7: Columbus, Ohio
Population: 1.75 million
Average rent: $664
12-month increase in rent: 3.9%
Median income: $53,065
Share of income used for rent: 15.0%

No. 8: Birmingham-Hoover, Ala.
Population: 1.20 million
Average rent: $680
12-month increase in rent: 3.7%
Median income: $42,429
Share of income used for rent: 19.2%

No. 9: San Antonio
Population: 2 million
Average rent: $684
12-month increase in rent: 3.5%
Median income: $44,682
Share of income used for rent: 18.4%

No. 10: Kansas City, Mo.-Kan.
Population: 1.99 million
Average rent: $688
12-month increase in rent: 3.5%
Median income: $54,848
Share of income used for rent: 15.1%

Big cities, low rents

Many large metro areas have lots of jobs and a vibrant cultural scene -- and it won't cost you half your paycheck to rent an apartment.
By Prashant Gopal, BusinessWeek
John Elk III/Lonely Planet Images

In a Manhattan apartment that costs $1,600 a month or more to rent, you'd be lucky to have a separate bedroom, a dishwasher and a living room that fits a full couch.

Get a job transfer to Oklahoma City and a 1,228-square-foot, three-bedroom apartment in a luxury development with its own clubhouse, hot tub and swimming pool can be yours for only $989 a month.

"Renting is a very good value in Oklahoma," says Carmen Goodspeed, broker associate with Price Edwards in Oklahoma City. "It would be hard to find an apartment for $1,000 a month here. There just aren't that many."

It's unlikely that rent will drive New Yorkers to seek wide-open apartments in the Southern Plains. But there are many large, vibrant metro areas with jobs and plenty of action that don't require half a paycheck just to cover rent. Oklahoma topped the list of 20 large metro areas with populations of more than 1 million with the lowest rents, compiled for by Reis, a New York City real-estate research firm.

The average rent in the Houston metro area was just $745 for the fourth quarter of 2007; in the Phoenix area, it was $773; in the Cleveland area, $728; and in the Cincinnati area, $692. By comparison, New York City's average asking rent was $2,825, San Francisco's was $1,861 and Boston's was $1,675. Asking rents climbed about 9% in New York and nearly 10% in San Francisco from a year earlier, according to Reis. The 12-month rent increase for the metro areas on the lowest-rent list ranged from 2.4% in St. Louis to 5.7% in Salt Lake City.

Rent is relative

The nation's average asking rent was $1,027 in the fourth quarter of 2007, up 4.5% from a year earlier, according to Reis. Only about 31% of Americans rent, but that share could rise if sinking home prices and rising foreclosures make homeownership a more risky proposition.

"Clearly rentals have bounced back for a lot of reasons," says Rob Massey, vice president of industry development for, an online listings service. "The biggest single reason is that the for-sale markets have been way off from where they were. There was a time when we were hearing stories of those who could not qualify to rent but could qualify to get a mortgage. Those days are gone."

People generally pay for location but "we're not all looking for the same thing," says Sam Chandan, chief economist for Reis. "There might be individuals where a more affordable city offers a better set of options."

And of course, rent is relative. A rent that seems reasonable in San Francisco, which has a median salary of $75,220, might seem insanely high in the Greenville, S.C., metro area, which has a median salary of $39,601 and the second-lowest average rent in the country: $617.

"There are certainly some places where you will spend less of your income paying your rent," says Chris Stanley, a financial analyst with Reis. "In Oklahoma City, we see rents averaging $520 a month, as compared to Pittsburgh, where rents are over $800; the median income in the two cities is comparable."

Downturns and upturns

Florida, Arizona, California and Nevada, which were tremendously popular during the housing boom, are now facing the most severe downturns. But the housing slump has also hurt rentals in some of these markets because of real-estate-related job losses and an oversupply of rental units.

In the Phoenix metro area, which ranked 20th on the list of metros with the lowest rents, traditional apartment landlords are competing for business with investors who are trying to fill the vacant condos they haven't been able to flip.

"In Phoenix, you get the culture and lifestyle of the fifth-largest city in the United States," says Jim Hanley, president of Rossmar & Graham Community Association Management in Scottsdale, Ariz., which is owned by FirstService. "If they rent, not only will they get a great deal, but if they sit by, eventually they can get into the housing market because it's going to come back."

Equity Residential, the largest publicly traded owner, operator and developer of apartments in the U.S., has pulled out of the Midwest and Texas and is focusing on tighter markets such as New York City, Seattle and San Francisco. But the company has stayed in Phoenix and has agreed to buy a new apartment building in Arizona because it expects that market to bounce back, says Fred Tuomi, president of the company's property management division.

"Qualifying standards and underwriting standards have been raised" for mortgages, Tuomi says. "People will be back into renting and enjoying it. There's a lot to be said about renting a home in terms of convenience, flexibility and services."

03-28-2008, 03:43 PM
Great exposure! Thanks wichitasooner for posting.

03-28-2008, 04:06 PM
Very nice.. thank you!

sgt. pepper
03-28-2008, 04:08 PM
Where's Tulsa?

03-28-2008, 04:47 PM
Where's Tulsa?

Their metro pop is under 1M. I think this list was only for metros of 1M or more.

03-28-2008, 05:46 PM
That second photo of OKC makes our city look very vibrant and livable. Very nice.

03-28-2008, 05:53 PM
And the dominant pic means Tulsans need to STFU... Look kids! Water and trees!

03-28-2008, 06:16 PM
Now if we can only get rid of that drainage ditch rock, this pic will look great.

03-28-2008, 06:35 PM
I know we all get a little giddy because there is so much positive momentum and PR about OKC at present...

But here's an honest question: Is there a city better positioned to be the next U.S. boom town?

I don't necessarily mean on the scale of Phoenix or Las Vegas, where they have had ridiculous amounts of growth... I mean more like Salt Lake City or Charlotte.

I really do think Oklahoma City will be that next place, as it has the foundation in place and what's more, really great civic leadership. Lots of people thinking creatively and on a big scale.

I think we could be just on the cusp of a tremendous upward trend.

03-28-2008, 06:45 PM
Regarding upward potential, consider all this:

Plenty of vacancy and land in and around downtown for offices of all sorts.
Inexpensive rent and homes in all parts of town -- arguably the most affordable of any larger city.
Extensive freeway system that could accommodate much more growth, especially when current projects are complete.
A river with huge areas for all types of development.
Opportunity for all types of development on just about any scale all around town (both urban and suburban)
Great, visionary civic leadership, especially in the private sector.
Burgeoning cultural/recreational opportunities (river, Central Park, bike trail system, etc.)
Airport that could easily be expanded to 3x current capacity -- but already an excellent facility.
Proximity to what is turning out to he a massive healthcare / biotech complex between the OUHSC and St. Anthony.
The birth of a truly urban living experience for the first time in decades.
The possibility of light rail when the time is right.

In summary, so much of what has been done or what is planned is just a starting point that could lead to things on a much larger scale. Unlike other towns that often get overwhelmed by growth OKC could take on lots more people and commerce relatively easily.

03-29-2008, 08:47 PM
Lemme try again: ( I think I got Red Xed)

03-29-2008, 08:51 PM
I fixed it for you!

I'll bet so many people seeing this picture for the first time are actually amazed at the trees and water!

You know, being a wind swept plain and all.

03-29-2008, 08:57 PM