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The cost of living is rising nationwide but Austin is outpacing the country


As summer temperatures rise, so are rental rates in Austin.

Nationwide, one-bedroom apartment dwellers have stomached a 25.5% year-over-year increase. As the national average apartment price reached $1,722, renting market data site, Rent, says Austinites are paying almost double.

As of June 2022, Rent. reports that the average one-bedroom apartment will cost $3,227 per month, a staggering 121.17% increase year over year. Austin’s increase was the highest out of the 70 cities studied, a national trend where Rent. managing editor Brian Carberry said Austin is at the forefront.

“Austin is kind of bucking the trend if you will in terms of what's happening with rent prices,” Carberry told Austonia. “Through the end of May, prices are among the most expensive places to live in the country. Austin is joining that conversation—it's not as expensive as New York City or San Francisco but it's getting up there.”

Here's a look at one-bedroom apartment prices.

Austin vs. Texas

The study shows that Austinites could live in any other city in Texas for cheaper.

May 2022

  • Austin: $3,227/month, +121.17%
  • Houston: $1,320/month, -14.46%
  • Dallas: $1,668/month, +11.16%
  • San Antonio: $1,059/month, +10.4%
  • Corpus Christi: $1,002/month, +11.35%

December 2021

  • Austin: $1,825/month
  • Houston: $1,280/month
  • Dallas: $1,691/month
  • San Antonio: $1,085/month
  • Corpus Christi: $1,002/month

Austin vs. U.S.


A March study by Rent. showed that Austin apartments were about as expensive as San Francisco. When compared with cities of similar size—Austin being the 11th most populous city in the study— Austin dwarfed most in rent prices, including a city in California.

  • 8th | San Diego, CA: $3,365/month, +33.80%
  • 9th | Dallas, TX: $1,668/month, +11.16%
  • 10th | San Jose, CA: $3,074/month, +24.12%
  • 11th | Austin, TX: $3,227/month, +121.17%
  • 12th | Jacksonville, FL: $1,462/month, -1.16%
  • 16th | San Francisco, CA: $3,658/month, +14.74%

What's driving the increase?

According to Carberry, inflation is the “elephant in the room” as gas, grocery, utility, cost of labor and materials prices are all rising. Low apartment inventory and high demand drive up prices on their own but Carberry said the combination with inflation has had an effect on new developments mostly being built in more expensive areas.

“Most new construction is going to be in areas where there's already demand and because of that, they're going to be priced a little bit higher,” Carberry said. “It is a business and people are going to try to get as much as they can, so there's a lot of new construction coming on the market but it's not necessarily going to help alleviate prices as much as one would think.”

Carberry said the rental market tends to follow the housing market on a six-to-nine month delay, citing high inventory and good leasing deals in Austin at the beginning of the pandemic while the housing market exploded, followed by an apartment boom.

“As more people begin to buy again and less people are looking to rent it's going to decrease that competition and then it will be more of a renters market versus a landlord market,” Carberry said. “In the beginning of the pandemic, no one was renting. So there were deals left and right, prices stayed flat. If you look at places like New York City or San Francisco, everyone was moving out and there were incredible deals to be had. Now that people have moved back into those areas, that competition is driving things up.”

In the meantime...

Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather told MarketWatch that landlords are less likely to increase rent as much for existing tenants than new tenants, saying the best bet to save cash is to resign a lease at your current unit.

“There's just so much demand for apartments and the housing market does play into that a little bit because people are being priced out,” Carberry said. “Your younger millennials, older Gen Z that are looking for their first homes are in a position where (buying a home) is just not a sustainable option for them right now.”


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