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Home is where the party is: Here's how rent in Austin's nightlife districts stack up

You can live among the string of bars in the Red River Cultural District. (Sonia Garcia/Austonia)

Ever been out on the town and wondered how much it'd cost to live in those towering skyscrapers? Austin is full of renowned party districts with housing all around—you might just need a well-endowed wallet to get you started.

It's no secret that Austin is starved for housing because every neighborhood in the city is growing exponentially, according to Austin Apartment Association Executive Vice President Emily Blair, but especially those that are close to jobs, like downtown.

"We're seeing the occupancy increase in all parts of Austin, honestly," Blair said. "Finding accessible rates based on whatever your income is always a challenge in a really hot housing market."

So before you start packing up your current place with plans to move to a fresh neighborhood, Blair has some advice: "don't." She says if the prices of your dream area are a bit too much to bear, give it 12 months and try again.

Here is what rent in Austin's nightlife districts will run you from least to most expensive.

The Domain

Lovingly dubbed Austin's "second downtown," The Domain has been a city staple since its first phase was completed in 2007. While you'll sacrifice the proximity to downtown's cluster of night districts living at The Domain, you'll make up for it in savings. The Domain falls in the North Burnet neighborhood, where most people pay around $1,465 per month.

The closer you get to the shopping center, the more expensive apartments get, though you can find highly desirable complexes just a stone's throw away. Living at The Domain is about 51% cheaper on average than living downtown and 10% lower than the city-wide average, with a similar array of amenities: high-end shopping, whimsical bars, proximity to Q2 Stadium, restaurants for any and every occasion, groceries, nature trails and apartment complexes. Plus, the Domain is one of the safest nightlife districts in Austin, just shy of West 6th Street and Rainey.

What you can expect to pay on average based on apartment size at the Domain:

  • Studio: $1,524
  • One bedroom: $1,918
  • Two-bedroom: $2,573
  • Three-bedroom: $4,627

South Congress

Depending on where you're living on South Congress—right on the bustling strip or closer to Ben White Blvd.—average rent fluctuates between $1,571 and $1,724 per month. Historically a low-income area, South Congress has become one of the pricier areas to live in but still hovers right around the Austin average of $1,619.

No matter where you choose to live on the central street, you'll be surrounded by local legacy restaurants, like Home Slice, Guerro's and Trudy's South Star; iconic shopping from businesses like Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds, Kendra Scott's flagship store, Prima Dora and Music Lane's new development; and skyline views that rival many other hotspots. Studios and three bedrooms are much more affordable on South Congress than The Domain, though the price makes a steep jump at the one-bedroom mark. South Congress falls right in the middle of the pack for crime, the most common report being vehicle burglaries.

What you can expect to pay on average based on apartment size on South Congress:

  • Studio: $1,132
  • One bedroom: $1,957
  • Two-bedroom: $2,677
  • Three-bedroom: $3,777

East 6th Street

East 6th Street has been gaining traction as a boozy strip for a while now, and so have its rent prices, coming in 27% higher than the citywide average. The average East Austin renter pays $2,060 per month but you can easily spend a lot more if you're looking for anything bigger than a studio—prices in East Austin are rising so fast that it's forcing lifelong residents out.

On top of its longstanding affordability crisis, East 6th Street tends to be one of the higher crime nightlife districts, behind "Dirty" 6th and Red River Cultural District, with high theft and assault with injury reports.

What you can expect to pay on average based on apartment size near East 6th Street:

  • Studio: Between $1,800 and $2,710
  • One bedroom: Between $2,010 and $3,707
  • Two-bedroom: Between $3,060 and $5,136

West 6th Street

If you want to stay in the downtown area, this is the cheapest party neighborhood to choose from but it will still put a big dent in your wallet because it costs about 74% more than what Austinites pay on average. Living near West 6th will give you access to a less chaotic but equally fun bar scene compared to its eastern counterpart—Star Bar, The Roosevelt Room and Green Light Social all adorn the strip.

Beyond that, you can expect to feel pretty safe walking along West 6th because it is the second-safest nightlife district in the city. Be careful on the roads though—the most common reports are of theft and DWIs.

What you can expect to pay on average based on apartment size near West 6th Street:

  • Studio: Between $1,550 and $2,489
  • One bedroom: Between $1,550 and $2,914
  • Two-bedroom: Between $2,998 and $4,142

Red River, Dirty 6th Street and Rainey Street

All falling within less than three miles in the downtown area, living near the live music haven of Red River, the party at Dirty 6th or the colorful Rainey Street will cost you around $2,981 per month—downtown renters pay 84% more on average—though the neighborhood offers much more wiggle room in terms of price than the likes of East 6th.

The price will get you some of Austin's most famous music venues in your neighborhood, like Stubb's, Antone's and Mohawk; ready access to Lady Bird Lake, walkability to dozens of diverse restaurants and some of the oldest bars in the city.

You'll find the most crime between Red River and Dirty 6th, which have high theft and assault cases, but Rainey Street is the safest night district of them all with less than 150 theft reports from the last five years.

What you can expect to pay on average based on apartment size in the downtown area:

  • Studio: Between $1,367 and $8,263
  • One bedroom: Between $1,987 and $5,946
  • Two-bedroom: Between $2,993 and $9,017
  • Three-bedroom: Between $1,367 and $9,540


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