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Posted: March 04, 2016

Top 20 most expensive ZIP codes for renters

A view of the Golden Gate Brdige from the Marin Headlands on May 27, 2012 in San Francisco, California.   (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw
A view of the Golden Gate Brdige from the Marin Headlands on May 27, 2012 in San Francisco, California.   (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

By Christine DiGangi

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You’ve heard it before: It’s really expensive to live in New York or San Francisco. The amount some people in those cities spend on rent in one year would be enough for a down payment on a home in much of the country.

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To figure out which areas of these pricey locales have the most outrageous rents, RENTCafé, an apartment-search website, analyzed the rents charged in apartment buildings with 50 or more rental units in ZIP codes containing at least 200 rental units.

The data comes from Yardi Matrix, a rental market data service, and includes rents for units of all sizes from 2015. It was a nationwide analysis, but the 20 most expensive ZIP codes for renters were all in two states: New York and California. The list is overwhelmed by New York City ZIP codes — actually, even that’s too broad a category. They’re all in one part of New York: Manhattan.

It would take a pretty hefty income to be able to afford these areas. On top of the cost, there’s the fact that these are highly competitive rental markets, so even if you could pay thousands of dollars in rent each month, getting a place wouldn’t be easy. 

So if you feel like your building charges a ton in rent, looking at this list of high-end ZIP codes might make you feel a little better. Unless, of course, you live in any of these places.

ZIP codes are in New York City unless otherwise noted.

20. 90405

Includes Ocean Park and Sunset Park neighborhoods in Santa Monica, California
Median monthly rent in 2015: $3,832

19. 94107

Includes Potrero Hill and Dogpatch in San Francisco
Median rent: $3,851

17. 10038 (tie) 

Includes Lower Manhattan
Median rent: $3,855

17. 10069 (tie)

Includes Upper West Side
Median rent: $3,855

16. 10023

Includes Upper West Side
Median rent: $3,890

15. 10016

Includes Murray Hill and Kips Bay
Median rent: $3,895

14. 94105

Includes Yerba Buena and South Beach in San Francisco
Median rent: $3,911

13. 94158

Mission Bay in San Francisco
Median rent: $3,931

12. 10019

Includes Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West
Median rent: $3,960

11. 10026

Includes Morningside Heights and Harlem
Median rent: $3,990

10. 10002

Includes Lower East Side
Median rent: $4,032

9. 10003

Includes Union Square and Gramercy
Median rent: $4,095

8. 10001

Includes Midtown West and Chelsea
Median rent: $4,150

7. 10025

Includes Upper West Side
Median rent: $4,185

6. 94920

Belvedere Tiburon, California
Median rent: $4,195

4. 10065 (tie)

Includes Lenox Hill
Median rent: $4,200

4. 10010 (tie)

Includes Gramercy and Flatiron
Median rent: $4,200

3. 10282

Includes Tribeca
Median rent: $4,615

2. 10014

Includes the West Village
Median rent: $4,650

1. 10036

Includes Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Times Square and Theater District
Median rent: $4,720

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