Call it affordable. Call it cheap.
The fact is that those people renting apartments in Columbus enjoy some of the least expensive rates in the United States, according to Apartment List, a listing website that tracks the industry.
August data show that Columbus, out of 100 markets nationwide, has the fifth-lowest median lease rates, with a one-bedroom averaging $640 a month and a two-bedroom going for $760 monthly.
The lowest — or cheapest — rents on the list are in Wichita, Kan., with $560 for a one-bedroom unit and $750 for two bedrooms. It is followed by Fayetteville, N.C., Fort Wayne, Ind., Toledo, Ohio, and Columbus.
Rounding out the Top 10 most affordable cities in terms of apartment rents are Huntsville, Ala., Winston-Salem, N.C., Cleveland, Ohio, Oklahoma City, Okla., and Des Moines, Iowa.
Other Southeastern cities on the list and their affordability rankings are Montgomery, Ala. (15), Knoxville, Tenn. (31), Birmingham, Ala. (34), Tallahassee, Fla. (42), Jacksonville, Fla. (51), Durham, N.C. (54), Charlotte, N.C. (58), Raleigh, N.C. (60), Nashville, Tenn. (61), St. Petersburg, Fla. (63), Atlanta, Ga. (65), Tampa, Fla. (71), Orlando, Fla. (72) and Miami, Fla. (80).
Atlanta’s median monthly rent is $1,010 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,160 for two bedrooms. Leases in Miami are about $50 more expensive for one-bedroom units and $190 higher for two bedrooms.
Not surprisingly, at the top of the very pricey list is San Francisco’s one-bedroom median of $2,430 per month, with two bedrooms for $3,060. The city by the bay is followed in the Top 10 most expensive by San Jose, Calif., New York City, Boston, Mass., Anaheim, Calif., San Diego, Calif., Stamford, Conn., Jersey City, N.J., Santa Ana, Calif., and Los Angeles, Calif.
Apartment List said its methodology includes median rent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, along with growth-rate calculations made from its own listing statistics. The company said it uses a “same-unit analysis,” comparing only apartment units available across a period of times to get as accurate of an assessment as possible.
For Columbus, Apartment List found median rent growth of 0.2 percent month over month, and year over year.
“Columbus offers a variety of different kinds of apartment living options, a fair number of recreational activities to choose from and a blossoming local arts and social scene,” Apartment List says in a city guide portion of its Columbus rental listings.
Here are synopses of what it has to say about various areas of city:
“The downtown Columbus area is now a thriving community that offers a plethora of excellent restaurants and shopping, plenty of entertainment and recreational options. While the apartment complexes in this area are often pretty pricey — a one-bedroom will cost you between $900 and $1,350 a month, and a two- or three-bedroom will run you around $1,250 to $1,500 a month — most of them offer on-site security, secure parking and a good amount of recreational amenities at your disposal. A number of newly renovated loft apartments can be found along the downtown river area and will typically cost somewhere between $1,000 and $1,500 a month depending on the size, quality of the complex and proximity to the water.”
“The suburban north Columbus area offers a variety of different apartment living options, though most of them will cost you a pretty penny. This area offers tons of local shopping and recreational activities and an assortment of recently built apartment complexes and neighborhood subdivisions. Green Island Hills, which is certainly the nicest part of north Columbus, has several luxurious apartment complexes for rent. High-end apartments in this area cost between $1,100 and $1,600 per month and are well worth the money. Columbus Park Crossing is a more inexpensive area, enclosed with a general mall area.”
“East Columbus offers fewer recreational activities than the downtown area. You’ll find plenty of shopping and reasonably priced dining venues, not to mention a number of medium-priced apartments. A decent one-bedroom in the area will cost between $650 and $1,000 a month, and between $800 and $1,250 for a two- or three- bedroom. Try to stick to complexes that have been consistently owned and operated by reputable management companies, especially those located in Woodlawn Estates and Crystal Valley.”
“Those looking for moderately priced, small- and medium-sized complexes should direct their search to the south Columbus area, especially around Carter Acres and Oakland Park. The apartments around here will run around $700 to $800 per month for a one bedroom and between $900 and $1,200 per month for a two or three bedroom.”
“Most of Columbus’ nightclubs and bars are located in the Midtown area, hence there’s a bunch to do around here on Friday or Saturday nights. While there are plenty of larger and medium-sized complexes throughout the area, they tend to be on the pricier side — a one-bedroom will start at around $1,000 per month and a decent two-bedroom will cost at least $1,200 a month. Focus your apartment search around the Dinglewood and Hilton Heights areas.”