Does Renting an Apartment in Michigan Offer Value for Money in 2018?

April 13th, 2018

With the picturesque vistas of Grand Rapids, the intellectual and cultural haven of Ann Arbor and the world’s leading automobile manufacturing city of Detroit, the state of Michigan has a lot to offer its residents. With apartment rentals generally below the national average, Michigan is ranked as 38th highest rent in the country out of 56 states and territories. Compared to states like Illinois, Florida and California who are 37th, 19th and 4th highest in the country, respectively.

With the spring buying season coming up fast, real estate professionals are anticipating a competitive environment, with housing supply still fairly low despite this year’s price increases. The average fair market rent in the entire state of Michigan ranges from an average of $600 for a 1-bedroom to $763 for a 2-bedroom home. The median monthly rent for one-bedroom units in Kent County, specifically the Grand Rapids area was $800 in January while a two-bedroom apartment went for $985.


Real Estate Apartment
With current fair market prices fluctuating slightly, they are currently lowest in Alger Country where $900 can rent a 2-3-bedroom home. In contrast, the most expensive rents are recorded in the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor area of Washtenaw County where a two-bedroom apartment can fetch $1,103 based on a population of about 345,000.

On the other hand, the national median rents have been on the increase since summer of 2017, and early in the 2018 prices have leveled off and even dropped slightly for one-bedroom apartments. According to Abodo, which surveyed 110 national rental markets, the national median rent dropped from $1,046 to $1,044. This reflects only a 0.2 percent decrease nationally, while individual cities and counties experienced a much larger decline.

Across the country, the biggest decreases in rental rates have been recorded in Syracuse, NY where January to February rates have dropped by almost 11 percent, and more surprisingly in Santa Ana, CA where a significant decline of over 9 percent was recorded in rental rates. While the biggest increases have been felt in areas like St. Paul, MN, where prices jumped 9 percent in just over a month, overall, the Midwest experienced a mild month for one-bedroom rents with Wisconsin and Illinois recording very slight increases. Illinois’ Cook County, with a population of over 5.2 million, mostly concentrated in and around Chicago has some of the priciest rental market in the state, with one-bedroom units going for about $1,014. While the Illinois and Wisconsin rental markets remains very close to Michigan’s, ranked at 37th and 40th, respectively, the bustling metropolitan areas of Florida and California tell a vastly different story, with some of the most expensive rents in the country.

In Florida, Discover Homes Miami reported that with the growth of the luxury market, Miami is becoming home to some of the finest and most affluent condominiums in the United States. Miami-Dade County, with the state’s largest population concentration, has some of the highest rates, with the average one-bedroom fetching $1,066 per month. In comparison, prices in California are some of the highest with the San Francisco and San Mateo areas the most expensive in the state and countrywide. A one-bedroom will set residents back $2,014 per month.

With more than 3,200 miles of shoreline, 11,000 lakes, 4 national parks and dozens of ski resorts, Michigan residents have the luxury or enjoying the views and natural beauty of the state year- round. With below average rents and abundant natural beauty Michigan is considered an affordable place with an average cost of living. Residents looking to rent in Michigan should read our apartment hunting guide which provides invaluable tips from where to look to what to ask.

Image credit: Artistic Operations – Pixabay

10 responses to “Does Renting an Apartment in Michigan Offer Value for Money in 2018?”

  1. Liz says:

    $600 for a 1-bedroom seems very low, though I know that’s the state average – in my area (Troy/Clawson), I was paying $730/mo and that was back in 2012. The apt. building I lived in has since renovated and is now charging upwards of $930/mo for that same < 700 square foot apartment.

  2. Becki says:

    I’ve already forgotten what I paid for rent, but the rent I charge our tenant is in line with your findings. Housing is definitely an important variable to take into account when deciding where to live, even within a state.

  3. Jenn says:

    We family here in Michigan that rent apartments. I can easily see us selling our house as we get older, and moving to an apartment. It seems like such a smart move.

  4. I think this is very helpful information for people who are looking for a new place to rent. It’s definitely a great choice especially since the rent isn’t as high as the other states at the moment.

  5. I love that we have a decent cost of living in Michigan. My coworkers in California are always amazed at how many people own in Michigan – they are just not use to the decent house prices!

  6. Heather says:

    The prices are very affordable comparing to the rates in my hometown. It’s great to know what to budget for when exploring our housing options.

  7. It’s nice to know that Michigan is still an affordable place to rent. With so many other places seeing an increase, it can feel overwhelming knowing what you can afford and whether it is time to stop renting and buy or keep up your rental.

  8. Our Family World says:

    Thank you for this timely read. My best friend will be relocating to Michigan towards the end of May. She got a good paying job there and the whole family will be moving. I will share this article with her.

  9. Becca Wilson says:

    This is some really interesting insight. Our market here seems extremely high for rentals but very comparable to Michigan pricing.

  10. Rachel Dean says:

    I find this statement interesting “Michigan is ranked as 38th highest rent in the country out of 56 states and territories”. I never put any thought into the rent costs here in MI. I’m sure big cities like New York and Chicago have the highest rent. Thanks for this article!

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