- While the average American renter will pay approximately $200 more per month for an apartment with an extra bedroom, there are 83 cities, mostly smaller suburbs, where renters can upgrade for less than $100 per month, according to a new report from RentCafe.
- Portsmouth, Virginia, has the lowest upsize cost out of these 83 cities — renters there can upgrade from a one- to a two-bedroom apartment for $25.
- The only major city with an upgrade cost under $100 per month is Memphis, Tennessee, at $87.
While the average size of an apartment unit has decreased over the last decade, the rapid rise of U.S. employees working from home for at least one day a week has created a demand for more living space, according to Veronica Grecu, senior creative writer and researcher for RentCafe.
“Space matters — a lot more than you think — whether you’re working from home five days a week or in a hybrid system,” said Grecu in the report. “For apartment-dwellers who want more space, one simple solution is to upsize on the cheap.”
On average, across the 728 cities examined in the report:
- Renters looking to upsize from a studio apartment to a one-bedroom apartment will pay an extra $71 per month.
- One-bedroom to two-bedroom upgrades average $236 per month.
- Two-bedroom upgrades to even larger apartments average $294 per month.
Out of the most affordable cities for upsizing apartments, the majority are in the Midwest, Virginia and Maryland, particularly along the coastline. Ohio is home to nine cities with less than a $100 difference in rent between one- and two-bedroom apartments, followed by Michigan with eight and Maryland with seven.
Upsizing costs can vary across a given larger metro area. In the Los Angeles metro, Hawthorne, California, has the smallest upgrade cost at $96 per month, while Puyallup, Washington, has the lowest upsize cost in the Seattle metro at $107