(NEXSTAR) — Despite a recent slowdown in growth, rent costs across the U.S. are well above pre-pandemic levels – so where can you get the most space for your money in Texas?
An annual analysis from Rentcafe, a nationwide listing service that helps find apartments or houses for renters and buyers, compared cities in Texas to find out how much square footage you can get, on average, for $1,500.
The most square footage for $1,500
Unfortunately for many renters, the study found that the state’s big cities aren’t among the best places to find spacious units for $1,500.
That being said, the cost of square footage in the Lone State’s big cities is still substantially less than in other states. While, on average, you’ll only get 243 square feet in Manhattan, $1,500 is enough to afford 1,020 square feet in San Antonio, 997 in Houston and 805 in Dallas.
On the pricier side, the most expensive cities were Austin (714 square feet), Frisco (740 square feet), Plano (766 square feet) and Dallas (805 square feet).
So which cities offer the most apartment for $1,500? Rent Cafe found that McAllen was best, with the average apartment size coming in at 1,471 square feet, followed by Amarillo (1,318 square feet), Brownsville (1,307 square feet), El Paso (1,222 square feet) and Lubbock (1,218 square feet).
Rent Cafe used Yardi Matrix data for the study, which you can see here.
Good news for renters?
Rent prices are still sharply higher than they were before the pandemic, but there may be reason for some optimism.
Year-over-year average rent prices across the U.S. actually went down for the first time since COVID-19 upended life around the globe.
Unfortunately for apartment shoppers, rental prices are still quite expensive. The national media cost of rent is now $1,937, according to Rent, which tracks listings and rental data.
The last time it was below that level was February 2022, when it was $1,904. In January, 2020, the month when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first COVID-19 case in the U.S., the median rental price was $1,585.