17 Cities in America Where a 2-Bedroom Rental Won’t Break the Bank

SAVING & SPENDING - BUDGETING & EXPENSES
Despite high housing costs across the country, there are still some places where a two-bedroom rental won’t leave your wallet empty.
Updated April 3, 2023
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Housing costs may finally be on the way down, but they’re still high compared to a year ago for some Americans regardless of whether they’re buying or renting a new place. An average two-bedroom in New York City, for instance, costs around $4,400 a month.

However, there are places in the U.S. where renters can still afford a two-bedroom rental. While prices may have gone up in some cities, it’s easier to find ways to pay rent on a two-bedroom in some cities than in others.

So, where can you find an affordable two-bedroom rental? Zumper, an apartment rental search site, put together an August report showcasing cities with the lowest rent prices for two-bedroom apartments.

17. Shreveport, Louisiana

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Shreveport Louisiana USA Skyline

Rent: $830

Shreveport has seen a decline in population in the past decade, which may be contributing to lower costs for rentals due to less housing competition.

The cost for a two-bedroom rental has risen only 3.8% in the past year, keeping housing costs relatively stable compared to other cities in the U.S.

16. Akron, Ohio

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Akron, Ohio

Rent: $830

The cost for a two-bedroom in Akron was 3.8% higher in August compared to July and 9.2% higher year over year. But the housing market in Akron is still competitive overall with homes on the market for a median of 15 days.

15. Wichita, Kansas

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Wichita, Kansas

Rent: $850

Wichita is still affordable if you’re looking for a two-bedroom apartment with a modest 2.4% increase in August compared to a month earlier. But you may have to be quick to pick one up.

The market is very competitive with houses for sale spending a median of five days on the market, a drop from 42 days a year ago.

14. Lubbock, Texas

Patricia E. Thomas/Adobe sunset colors downtown Lubbock Texas

Rent: $920

Lubbock may still be affordable if you want a two-bedroom rental, but prices went up 8.2% compared to a year earlier. And be aware that the city is home to Texas Tech University, so there may be an influx in prices depending on college-student demand.

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13. Des Moines, Iowa

Grindstone Media Grp/Adobe Des Moines Iowa

Rent: $960

The city has seen a decline in the price of two-bedroom rentals, which may make it more attractive for renters. The $960 price tag for rent is 4% lower in August compared to a year earlier and 8.6% lower year over year.

12. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Kovcs/Adobe Oklahoma City

Rent: $1,000

The housing market in Oklahoma City has a median sale price of $263,000, which is a 14.7% increase compared to a year earlier. That may make it more appealing for renters who aren’t ready to buy yet.

11. Laredo, Texas

Bill Chizek/Adobe Texas skies

Rent: $1,010

Laredo is one of the busiest border crossings in the U.S., which may attract residents in addition to the affordable cost of housing. 

While a two-bedroom rental has declined 1% in August compared to a month earlier, the city still faces a year-over-year increase of 9.8% for those properties.

10. Memphis, Tennessee

Kevin Ruck/Adobe Memphis

Rent: $1,020

It may be more affordable to tour Elvis Presley’s Graceland than to pay a month’s rent in Memphis, but the city is still a good option if you’re on a budget. Memphis saw a 1.9% decline in the cost of a rental in August compared to a month earlier.

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9. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Jacob/Adobe Baton Rouge

Rent: $1,090

Like Shreveport, Baton Rouge has also seen a decline in population in recent years, which may be contributing to affordable housing costs. 

The cost for a two-bedroom rental was flat in August compared to a month earlier, but the city is still 11.2% higher compared to August 2021.

8. Detroit, Michigan

nvphoto/Adobe  downtown of Detroit Michigan

Rent: $1,100

The Motor City has seen an increase in redevelopment in recent years, including a rise in available apartments and office space. 

Detroit saw a 5.8% increase in rental prices year-over-year but a decline of 1.8% in August from a month earlier. That drop may be a good indication that supply and demand could be balancing out.

7. Tulsa, Oklahoma

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe downtown skyline on the Arkansas River

Rent: $1,110

Tulsa may still be struggling with high housing costs as the price of a two-bedroom rental is 23.3% higher in August compared to a year earlier. But a month-to-month decline of 2.6% could offer relief to some renters.

6. Augusta, Georgia

Kevin Ruck/Adobe Savannah River and Augusta

Rent: $1,120

The home of golf’s Masters Tournament could be a hole-in-one if you’re trying to find housing there. 

But while the cost of a two-bedroom rental is one of the best for a city in the U.S., prices are still 1.8% higher in August compared to July and 13.1% higher than just a year ago.

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5. El Paso, Texas

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe El Paso Texas USA downtown

Rent: $1,120

The border town of El Paso has seen an increase in population in recent years, which may be giving housing prices a bit of a boost. 

But while the year-over-year cost of a two-bedroom rental has increased by 15.5%, the city saw prices remain flat in August compared to July.

4. Lexington, Kentucky

Ivelin/Adobe downtown Lexington Kentucky

Rent: $1,120

The second-largest city in Kentucky has seen a decent rise in population with more than 325,000 people calling the city their home, and housing costs could reflect that.

While the actual cost of a two-bedroom rental is affordable compared to other cities in the U.S., residents have seen a 5.7% rise in the price in August compared to a year earlier, and a 12% increase compared to August 2021.

3. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Kevin Ruck/Adobe downtown Winston-Salem North Carolina

Rent: $1,140

Winston-Salem has a competitive housing market with the median home sale price around $260,500, which may make it hard for residents to buy a home.

A two-bedroom may still be affordable, but the price for one in August was 5.6% higher compared to a month earlier and had a year-over-year increase of 15.2%.

2. Greensboro, North Carolina

Wirestock/Adobe aerial shot of the city of Greensboro North Carolina

Rent: $1,160

Near Winston-Salem is Greensboro, which has seen an increase in population and housing costs. The city saw a 0.9% decrease in August compared to July for the cost of a two-bedroom rental.

However, the $1,160 per month for a rental is 31.8% higher than a year earlier, which may mean that the market could still have room for a further decline.

1. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kovcs/Adobe Milwaukee Wisconsin USA Skyline

Rent: $1,190

Milwaukee’s population has been declining in recent decades, which could help ease the pressure on housing inventory. But prices were still 8.2% higher in August compared to a year ago and 5.3% higher than they were in July.

Bottom line

New Africa/Adobe van full of moving boxes and furniture near house

With housing prices leveling off or declining, it may be a good idea to revisit your budget and see if there are ways to boost your bank account and afford a two-bedroom rental.

You may be surprised that declining housing costs combined with rising wages could make a two-bedroom rental more affordable for you.

Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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