I was recently interviewed by KVUE for an piece about how local Austin rental rates compare to the national average. Austin's rental rates are higher than the average for the entire country.
Rates vary across the city, but when I was helping Jayson Housson, a San Antonio resident who will be moving to Austin to go to UT this Fall, we were looking for apartments close to campus. Housson was finding that most of the one bedrooms in that area are $1,000 to $1,200. By looking just east of 35, where students will have to take a short bus ride rather than walk or bike to campus, I was able to find Housson a one bedroom in a student community for $450.
The main factors in the high prices are the proximity to downtown and the high apartment occupancy rate. It is extremely difficult to get an apartment in Austin for less than $750 because those prime apartments are 98 to 99 percent occupied.
A recent national survey by Apartment List found that Austin's average rent is $940 for a one bedroom, while the national average is $890 and the Texas average is $830. For two-bedrooms, Austin's average rent is $1,210, while the US average is $960 and the Texas average is $940.
In Dallas and Houston, you can get a nicer, bigger apartment for the same price as something smaller and older in Austin. Our availability just isn't as large as some of the other big cities, which is what keeps their rents lower.