If you’re a renter in a hot real estate market, the last thing you want to think about is how much you’ve dropped on rent. And if you’re saving to buy a house, the last thing you want to hear is your parents’ not-so-gentle reminder that they were already homeowners at your age.
But the numbers don’t lie: Rents continue to outpace incomes. In fact, Zillow just released data showing U.S. renters spent a combined $441 billion on housing in 2014.
So what does that mean for you? If you rented a place last year, it means you paid a lot — but maybe not as much as you would have in some parts of the country.
To find out who spent the most in 2014, we looked at the 50 largest metros in the U.S. and compared the average amount renters paid per month. Perhaps surprisingly, the New York-Northern New Jersey metro didn’t top the list. San Jose was the highest, with renters paying on average $1,807 per month. Meanwhile, the 20th most expensive metro for renters was Minneapolis-St. Paul, where the average monthly payment in 2014 was $927.
Check out this map to see how renters fared in the priciest metros across the country or visit Zillow Research to dig further into the data.
Rank Metro 2014 Average Monthly Rent Payment
1. San Jose, CA $1,807 2. San Francisco, CA $1,598 3. Washington, DC $1,428 4 San Diego, CA $1,362 5. Los Angeles, CA $1,308 6. New York, NY- Northern New Jersey $1,228 7. Boston, MA $1,197 8 Seattle, WA $1,154 9. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL $1,127 10. Riverside, CA $1,075 11. Denver, CO $1,066 12. Baltimore, MD $1,047 13. Sacramento, CA $1,029 14. Austin, TX $1,008 15. Chicago, IL $991 16. Portland, OR $977 17. Virginia Beach, VA $949 18 . Philadelphia, PA $936 19. Orlando, FL $931 20. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN $927
Catherine Sherman, a real estate writer for Zillow Blog, covers real estate news, industry trends and home design.