What city has the most expensive rent? It’s not New York or San Francisco

Williston, N.D., has the most expensive average rent in the country.
Credit: Getty

What city has the highest rent in the country? You’d be surprised: It’s not New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles. In fact, you’ve probably never heard of Williston, N.D.

You heard us right: The highest rent in the country is in North Dakota, and not even in Fargo or Bismarck. Apartment Guide conducted a survey on average rents across the country and found that the average rent for an entry-level apartment – a one-bedroom, one-bath unit around 700 square feet – in Williston costs $2,394.

Why Williston? Oil-field workers have flocked to the city in recent years, causing a housing shortage. The population has more than doubled since 2010 and many of the workers make six figures – developers can’t build apartments quickly enough in the city, reports Apartment Guide.

The average entry-level rent in the New York metropolitan area pales in comparison at just $1,503. In fact, New York does not even clock in as one of the top five most expensive cities, though the Bay Area takes up two spots: The San Jose area boasts an average rent of $1,881 while the San Francisco average rent is $1,776. Number four on the list? Dickinson, N.D. at $1,773.

The Philadelphia area’s rent averages at just $934, while Boston’s average rent soars at $1,537. It’s time to stop thumbing our noses at these North Dakotan city slickers.

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark


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