Worst places to rent

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Unless you're in the 1 percent, you don't want to live in these neighborhoods.

Moving? You might want to make sure your new destination isn’t on this list of highest rent in the US.

A one-bedroom apartment in New York City’s Penn Plaza typically costs more in a year than most Americans make: $53,280.

That’s according to, which released a list Wednesday of the 14 most expensive neighborhoods to rent in — and the cheapest alternatives in the same metro area.

“For those renters who are more flexible and don’t want to break the bank each month on rent,” the rental listing site says, you can move to Harlem instead. You’ll save two-thirds!

You may find that more funny than helpful, but it’s definitely interesting. (We’ve got better advice to save on rent here.) Here’s the full list of the worst places to rent…

  1. New York City: Penn Plaza / Garment District – $4,440
  2. New York City: DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) – $4,023
  3. San Francisco: Yerba Buena – $3,643
  4. Boston: Government Center – $3,782
  5. Oakland/Emeryville, CA: Golden Gate – $2,695
  6. Palo Alto, CA: Crescent Park – $3,157
  7. Great Neck, NY (Nassau County): Great Neck Plaza – $3,223
  8. Jersey City, NJ: Historic Downtown – $3,068
  9. Newport Beach, CA: Newport Center – $3,133
  10. San Diego, CA: Harborview – $2,206
  11. Queens, NY: Hunters Point – $2,811
  12. Washington DC: Foggy Bottom / GWU / West End – $2,662
  13. Pasadena, CA: Southwest Pasadena – $2,957
  14. Philadelphia: Rittenhouse Square – $1,860

If you noticed the prices aren’t in order with the rankings, that’s because the site’s methodology is complicated. All you really need to know is that the prices are for one-bedroom apartments and that places where a larger percentage of income is spent on housing were ranked higher.

Our takeaways: Even the cheapest place on this list costs twice the national average rent of $939. And the cheapest apartments in San Francisco — $2,357 a month in the 94132 zip code — still outrank several of these ultra-pricy neighborhoods.

But if you’re in the top 1 percent of American earners (cutoff: $389,000 a year) even a Penn Plaza apartment is under 14 percent of your income.

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Meet the Author

Brandon Ballenger

Brandon Ballenger


Ballenger is a writer for and its first political columnist.



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