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Moving To The Suburbs: Which Are The Cheapest City Suburbs?

Over the previous year, 22% of US adults either moved or know someone that moved home [1], with many looking to move away from the bustle of city metros to more open suburbs.

Additionally, various reports suggest that 91% of suburban counties in the US saw more people moving into them than out during 2020 and early 2021, with 84% of movers remaining in their metro area but towards more “suburban” settings.

But which are the cheapest suburban cities for those looking to escape the inner metro area?

We’ve analyzed 25 of the largest cities in the nation, comparing the average monthly rental costs and home prices against their neighboring ‘suburban’ cities and towns, with a population of over 10,000 and under 250,000, and up to 25 miles from the major city.


Key Findings

City & Suburb Home Prices

To provide an insight into where and what price people might be looking to pay should they move from one of the top 25 most populated cities in the nation, we’ve analyzed the Zillow house price data into the average cost of one, two, three, four, and five+ bedroom homes in major cities, the average suburban costs and the cheapest suburb*.

*Suburbs in the study were classified as population areas located within an easily commutable 25 miles of a major city, with a population of between 10,000 and 250,000. 

Average Home Prices

Analyzing Zillow’s data we found that the average cost of a home in a major city ($505,750) and the suburbs ($505,340) nearby are almost identical, representing more than eight times the nation’s median annual household income. 

However, as our analysis also revealed, in 12 of the major cities analyzed the ‘suburbs’ are cheaper than the major city, with 13 of the 25 cities showing the nearby towns and cities are more expensive than the major city.

City Major City Average Suburbs Average Average Price Difference City Cost / Median Income Suburb Cost / Median Income
CityWashington DC Major City Average$849,745 Suburbs Average$519,159 Average Price Difference-$330,586 City Cost / Median Income9.8 Suburb Cost / Median Income6.0
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$1,689,110 Suburbs Average$1,396,599 Average Price Difference-$292,511 City Cost / Median Income15.0 Suburb Cost / Median Income12.4
CityNew York Major City Average$775,207 Suburbs Average$568,668 Average Price Difference-$206,539 City Cost / Median Income12.1 Suburb Cost / Median Income8.9
CitySeattle Major City Average$850,825 Suburbs Average$664,010 Average Price Difference-$186,815 City Cost / Median Income9.2 Suburb Cost / Median Income7.2
CityAustin Major City Average$519,144 Suburbs Average$361,652 Average Price Difference-$157,492 City Cost / Median Income7.3 Suburb Cost / Median Income5.1
CityDallas Major City Average$400,662 Suburbs Average$304,308 Average Price Difference-$96,354 City Cost / Median Income7.6 Suburb Cost / Median Income5.8
CityBoston Major City Average$703,019 Suburbs Average$631,035 Average Price Difference-$71,985 City Cost / Median Income9.9 Suburb Cost / Median Income8.9
CityDenver Major City Average$570,534 Suburbs Average$521,906 Average Price Difference-$48,628 City Cost / Median Income8.3 Suburb Cost / Median Income7.6
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$971,795 Suburbs Average$925,196 Average Price Difference-$46,599 City Cost / Median Income15.6 Suburb Cost / Median Income14.9
CityNashville Major City Average$411,231 Suburbs Average$370,551 Average Price Difference-$40,680 City Cost / Median Income6.9 Suburb Cost / Median Income6.2
CityCharlotte Major City Average$315,132 Suburbs Average$296,570 Average Price Difference-$18,562 City Cost / Median Income5.0 Suburb Cost / Median Income4.7
CityEl Paso Major City Average$176,651 Suburbs Average$161,619 Average Price Difference-$15,032 City Cost / Median Income3.7 Suburb Cost / Median Income3.4
CityChicago Major City Average$307,033 Suburbs Average$310,396 Average Price Difference$3,362 City Cost / Median Income5.3 Suburb Cost / Median Income5.3
CityOklahoma Major City Average$185,510 Suburbs Average$193,196 Average Price Difference$7,686 City Cost / Median Income3.3 Suburb Cost / Median Income3.5
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$271,158 Suburbs Average$306,261 Average Price Difference$35,103 City Cost / Median Income8.3 Suburb Cost / Median Income9.3
CityHouston Major City Average$227,629 Suburbs Average$276,560 Average Price Difference$48,930 City Cost / Median Income4.3 Suburb Cost / Median Income5.3
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$214,399 Suburbs Average$270,337 Average Price Difference$55,937 City Cost / Median Income4.1 Suburb Cost / Median Income5.2
CityColumbus Major City Average$214,657 Suburbs Average$271,016 Average Price Difference$56,359 City Cost / Median Income4.0 Suburb Cost / Median Income5.0
CitySan Diego Major City Average$797,738 Suburbs Average$855,277 Average Price Difference$57,539 City Cost / Median Income10.0 Suburb Cost / Median Income10.7
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$200,839 Suburbs Average$258,956 Average Price Difference$58,118 City Cost / Median Income4.2 Suburb Cost / Median Income5.4
CityFort Worth Major City Average$237,286 Suburbs Average$314,037 Average Price Difference$76,751 City Cost / Median Income3.8 Suburb Cost / Median Income5.0
CityDetroit Major City Average$90,098 Suburbs Average$202,538 Average Price Difference$112,440 City Cost / Median Income2.9 Suburb Cost / Median Income6.6
CityJacksonville Major City Average$233,719 Suburbs Average$456,501 Average Price Difference$222,782 City Cost / Median Income4.3 Suburb Cost / Median Income8.3
CityPhoenix Major City Average$338,467 Suburbs Average$599,181 Average Price Difference$260,714 City Cost / Median Income5.9 Suburb Cost / Median Income10.4
CitySan Jose Major City Average$1,092,148 Suburbs Average$1,597,981 Average Price Difference$505,833 City Cost / Median Income10.0 Suburb Cost / Median Income14.6
CityAverage Major City Average$505,750 Suburbs Average$505,340 Average Price Difference-$409 City Cost / Median Income8.0 Suburb Cost / Median Income8.0

Overall, those living in Washington DC can find the best value outside of the city limits, with the average property costing an average of $330,000 less in the nearby suburbs. The suburbs of San Francisco are also cheaper than the major city, with the average home costing $292,511 less than within the city limits.

The average home in the suburbs of major cities is just $409 less, with each costing eight times the median household income ($62,843).

However, when we opened up the data further and investigated the average cost of one, two, three, four, and five or more bedroom homes in each of the cities, we found far more variance in the figures and national averages.

Average One Bedroom Prices

City Major City Average Suburbs Average Price Difference Cheapest Suburb Cheapest Average Price Difference
CityBoston Major City Average$577,551 Suburbs Average$327,558 Price Difference-$249,993 Cheapest SuburbLawrence Cheapest Average$137,192 Price Difference-$440,359
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$880,564 Suburbs Average$687,318 Price Difference-$193,246 Cheapest SuburbMartinez Cheapest Average$374,711 Price Difference-$505,853
CityNew York Major City Average$575,585 Suburbs Average$393,984 Price Difference-$181,601 Cheapest SuburbRoselle Cheapest Average$129,111 Price Difference-$446,474
CitySeattle Major City Average$478,136 Suburbs Average$342,004 Price Difference-$136,132 Cheapest SuburbFederal Way Cheapest Average$183,168 Price Difference-$294,968
CityWashington DC Major City Average$417,514 Suburbs Average$283,253 Price Difference-$134,261 Cheapest SuburbBeltsville Cheapest Average$124,657 Price Difference-$292,857
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$296,906 Suburbs Average$169,471 Price Difference-$127,435 Cheapest SuburbPenns Grove Cheapest Average$33,702 Price Difference-$263,204
CityChicago Major City Average$249,141 Suburbs Average$129,812 Price Difference-$119,329 Cheapest SuburbCalumet Cheapest Average$56,531 Price Difference-$192,610
CityDetroit Major City Average$174,067 Suburbs Average$108,340 Price Difference-$65,727 Cheapest SuburbHarper Woods Cheapest Average$42,104 Price Difference-$131,963
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$579,162 Suburbs Average$522,734 Price Difference-$56,428 Cheapest SuburbLaPuente Cheapest Average$261,764 Price Difference-$317,398
CityCharlotte Major City Average$194,728 Suburbs Average$173,537 Price Difference-$21,191 Cheapest SuburbGastonia Cheapest Average$89,495 Price Difference-$105,233
CityAustin Major City Average$317,107 Suburbs Average$299,320 Price Difference-$17,787 Cheapest SuburbLockhart Cheapest Average$107,330 Price Difference-$209,777
CityEl Paso Major City Average$99,416 Suburbs Average$96,290 Price Difference-$3,126 Cheapest SuburbHorizon Cheapest Average$93,722 Price Difference-$5,694
CityColumbus Major City Average$127,690 Suburbs Average$125,679 Price Difference-$2,011 Cheapest SuburbCircleville Cheapest Average$60,262 Price Difference-$67,428
CityNashville Major City Average$255,194 Suburbs Average$268,822 Price Difference$13,628 Cheapest SuburbGallatin Cheapest Average$195,656 Price Difference-$59,538
CityFort Worth Major City Average$176,364 Suburbs Average$197,202 Price Difference$20,838 Cheapest SuburbArlington Cheapest Average$123,253 Price Difference-$53,111
CityOklahoma Major City Average$68,739 Suburbs Average$95,056 Price Difference$26,317 Cheapest SuburbEl Reno Cheapest Average$70,749 Price Difference$2,010
CityDallas Major City Average$145,929 Suburbs Average$190,898 Price Difference$44,969 Cheapest SuburbGarland Cheapest Average$96,425 Price Difference-$49,504
CityDenver Major City Average$305,228 Suburbs Average$351,945 Price Difference$46,717 Cheapest SuburbWheat Ridge Cheapest Average$215,762 Price Difference-$89,466
CitySan Diego Major City Average$387,964 Suburbs Average$435,629 Price Difference$47,665 Cheapest SuburbLakeside Cheapest Average$234,038 Price Difference-$153,926
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$105,211 Suburbs Average$155,969 Price Difference$50,758 Cheapest SuburbLebanon Cheapest Average$123,210 Price Difference$17,999
CityJacksonville Major City Average$120,636 Suburbs Average$216,848 Price Difference$96,212 Cheapest SuburbYulee Cheapest Average$142,582 Price Difference$21,946
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$103,652 Suburbs Average$211,186 Price Difference$107,534 Cheapest SuburbSchertz Cheapest Average$156,227 Price Difference$52,575
CityHouston Major City Average$119,586 Suburbs Average$255,743 Price Difference$136,157 Cheapest SuburbSpring Cheapest Average$124,994 Price Difference$5,408
CitySan Jose Major City Average$586,660 Suburbs Average$780,688 Price Difference$194,028 Cheapest SuburbLivermore Cheapest Average$384,672 Price Difference-$201,988
CityPhoenix Major City Average$191,554 Suburbs Average$677,629 Price Difference$486,075 Cheapest SuburbSurprise Cheapest Average$160,425 Price Difference-$31,129
CityAverage Major City Average$301,371 Suburbs Average$299,877 Price Difference-$1,495 Cheapest SuburbAverage Cheapest Average$148,870 Price Difference-$152,502

Analyzing one-bedroom homes across the most populated 25 major cities, we found that on average a one-bedroom home will cost $1,495 more to buy in the city, with the overall cost of a home in a major city and the suburbs is 4.8 times the national median household income.

Our analysis found that those in Boston can find the best value in suburbs, saving $249,993 when buying a home outside of Boston itself. This is followed by San Francisco, where a suburban one-bedroom costs $193,246 less than within the city. 

At the other end of the scale, our analysis found that a one-bedroom in Phoenix costs (on average) $486,075 more in the suburban towns and cities than in the city itself. While one bedroom in Phoenix costs $191,554, the average suburban cost is $677,629.

Average Two Bedroom Prices

City Major City Average Suburbs Average Difference Cheapest Suburb Cheapest Average Difference
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$1,337,276 Suburbs Average$1,036,776 Difference-$300,500 Cheapest SuburbMartinez Cheapest Average$460,862 Difference-$876,414
CityWashington DC Major City Average$616,975 Suburbs Average$336,574 Difference-$280,401 Cheapest SuburbBeltsville Cheapest Average$155,566 Difference-$461,409
CityNew York Major City Average$726,318 Suburbs Average$452,757 Difference-$273,561 Cheapest SuburbKeansburg Cheapest Average$208,188 Difference-$518,130
CitySeattle Major City Average$706,458 Suburbs Average$462,499 Difference-$243,959 Cheapest SuburbFederal Way Cheapest Average$261,611 Difference-$444,847
CityBoston Major City Average$685,002 Suburbs Average$477,847 Difference-$207,155 Cheapest SuburbLawrence Cheapest Average$254,787 Difference-$430,215
CityAustin Major City Average$436,732 Suburbs Average$264,184 Difference-$172,548 Cheapest SuburbLockhart Cheapest Average$130,410 Difference-$306,322
CityChicago Major City Average$277,717 Suburbs Average$222,416 Difference-$55,301 Cheapest SuburbCalumet Cheapest Average$91,413 Difference-$186,304
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$721,191 Suburbs Average$665,903 Difference-$55,288 Cheapest SuburbRowland Heights Cheapest Average$359,400 Difference-$361,791
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$235,682 Suburbs Average$220,560 Difference-$15,122 Cheapest SuburbPenns Grove Cheapest Average$40,129 Difference-$195,553
CityCharlotte Major City Average$207,828 Suburbs Average$196,706 Difference-$11,122 Cheapest SuburbGastonia Cheapest Average$107,823 Difference-$100,005
CityDenver Major City Average$439,091 Suburbs Average$429,580 Difference-$9,511 Cheapest SuburbCommerce Cheapest Average$311,797 Difference-$127,294
CityNashville Major City Average$264,437 Suburbs Average$260,653 Difference-$3,784 Cheapest SuburbGoodlettsville Cheapest Average$200,698 Difference-$63,739
CityDallas Major City Average$199,791 Suburbs Average$207,399 Difference$7,608 Cheapest SuburbBalch Springs Cheapest Average$144,012 Difference-$55,779
CityEl Paso Major City Average$110,643 Suburbs Average$119,045 Difference$8,402 Cheapest SuburbCanutillo Cheapest Average$118,858 Difference$8,215
CityOklahoma Major City Average$94,498 Suburbs Average$113,398 Difference$18,900 Cheapest SuburbGuthrie Cheapest Average$76,210 Difference-$18,288
CityHouston Major City Average$153,367 Suburbs Average$178,489 Difference$25,122 Cheapest SuburbJacinto Cheapest Average$115,915 Difference-$37,452
CityColumbus Major City Average$145,691 Suburbs Average$174,368 Difference$28,677 Cheapest SuburbCircleville Cheapest Average$100,877 Difference-$44,814
CitySan Diego Major City Average$584,700 Suburbs Average$617,191 Difference$32,491 Cheapest SuburbEl Cajon Cheapest Average$388,890 Difference-$195,810
CityFort Worth Major City Average$159,208 Suburbs Average$212,202 Difference$52,994 Cheapest SuburbWhite Settlement Cheapest Average$138,134 Difference-$21,074
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$135,984 Suburbs Average$190,042 Difference$54,058 Cheapest SuburbConverse Cheapest Average$133,340 Difference-$2,644
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$121,629 Suburbs Average$191,643 Difference$70,014 Cheapest SuburbLebanon Cheapest Average$133,959 Difference$12,330
CityDetroit Major City Average$39,735 Suburbs Average$144,968 Difference$105,233 Cheapest SuburbPontiac Cheapest Average$70,199 Difference$30,464
CityJacksonville Major City Average$142,044 Suburbs Average$298,482 Difference$156,438 Cheapest SuburbYulee Cheapest Average$202,490 Difference$60,446
CityPhoenix Major City Average$250,057 Suburbs Average$436,097 Difference$186,040 Cheapest SuburbEl Mirage Cheapest Average$190,432 Difference-$59,625
CitySan Jose Major City Average$781,815 Suburbs Average$1,130,025 Difference$348,210 Cheapest SuburbUnion Cheapest Average$557,390 Difference-$224,425
CityAverage Major City Average$382,955 Suburbs Average$361,592 Difference-$21,363 Cheapest SuburbAverage Cheapest Average$198,136 Difference-$184,819

The average two-bedroom city home costs $21,363 more than the average suburban two-bedroom. The average cost in a major city being $382,955, while in a suburban town or city that shrinks slightly to $361,592.

Our analysis found that those in San Francisco could expect to save $300,500 by looking towards the nearby suburbs. However, even these cheaper prices are 9.2 times the annual median household income in San Francisco ($112,449).

While 12 of the 25 major cities showed it was cheaper in the suburbs, 13 have cheaper prices within the city limits. A two-bedroom in San Jose city costs $781,815 (7.1 times the city’s median household income), while in the suburbs the average cost of a two-bedroom is $1,130,025 (10.3 times the median household income).

Average Three Bedroom Prices

City Major City Average Suburbs Average Difference Cheapest Suburb Cheapest Average Difference
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$1,633,449 Suburbs Average$1,388,346 Difference-$245,103 Cheapest SuburbMartinez Cheapest Average$685,501 Difference-$947,948
CityWashington DC Major City Average$736,874 Suburbs Average$514,082 Difference-$222,792 Cheapest SuburbWaldorf Cheapest Average$305,089 Difference-$431,785
CitySeattle Major City Average$855,698 Suburbs Average$692,581 Difference-$163,117 Cheapest SuburbBremerton Cheapest Average$399,253 Difference-$456,445
CityAustin Major City Average$449,244 Suburbs Average$314,493 Difference-$134,751 Cheapest SuburbLockhart Cheapest Average$192,125 Difference-$257,119
CityNew York Major City Average$675,958 Suburbs Average$548,609 Difference-$127,349 Cheapest SuburbKeansburg Cheapest Average$258,789 Difference-$417,169
CityBoston Major City Average$668,692 Suburbs Average$619,639 Difference-$49,053 Cheapest SuburbLawrence Cheapest Average$365,501 Difference-$303,191
CityDenver Major City Average$537,727 Suburbs Average$518,437 Difference-$19,290 Cheapest SuburbBrighton Cheapest Average$416,149 Difference-$121,578
CityEl Paso Major City Average$152,732 Suburbs Average$150,479 Difference-$2,253 Cheapest SuburbHorizon Cheapest Average$138,954 Difference-$13,778
CityCharlotte Major City Average$256,464 Suburbs Average$264,904 Difference$8,440 Cheapest SuburbGastonia Cheapest Average$200,951 Difference-$55,513
CityNashville Major City Average$318,186 Suburbs Average$329,257 Difference$11,071 Cheapest SuburbLa Vergne Cheapest Average$234,369 Difference-$83,817
CityOklahoma Major City Average$160,034 Suburbs Average$172,956 Difference$12,922 Cheapest SuburbEl Reno Cheapest Average$131,268 Difference-$28,766
CityChicago Major City Average$280,675 Suburbs Average$307,397 Difference$26,722 Cheapest SuburbCalumet Cheapest Average$129,618 Difference-$151,057
CityHouston Major City Average$194,410 Suburbs Average$223,796 Difference$29,386 Cheapest SuburbJacinto Cheapest Average$142,293 Difference-$52,117
CityDallas Major City Average$237,805 Suburbs Average$284,766 Difference$46,961 Cheapest SuburbBalch Springs Cheapest Average$174,320 Difference-$63,485
CityColumbus Major City Average$197,279 Suburbs Average$253,505 Difference$56,226 Cheapest SuburbCircleville Cheapest Average$151,239 Difference-$46,040
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$193,081 Suburbs Average$254,039 Difference$60,958 Cheapest SuburbConverse Cheapest Average$188,794 Difference-$4,287
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$173,954 Suburbs Average$235,111 Difference$61,157 Cheapest SuburbBeech Grove Cheapest Average$158,004 Difference-$15,950
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$801,538 Suburbs Average$875,279 Difference$73,741 Cheapest SuburbCompton Cheapest Average$504,354 Difference-$297,184
CityFort Worth Major City Average$212,096 Suburbs Average$290,809 Difference$78,713 Cheapest SuburbWhite Settlement Cheapest Average$178,358 Difference-$33,738
CitySan Diego Major City Average$767,714 Suburbs Average$862,793 Difference$95,079 Cheapest SuburbNational Cheapest Average$535,934 Difference-$231,780
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$184,084 Suburbs Average$289,719 Difference$105,635 Cheapest SuburbPenns Grove Cheapest Average$58,425 Difference-$125,659
CityDetroit Major City Average$47,375 Suburbs Average$197,589 Difference$150,214 Cheapest SuburbPontiac Cheapest Average$88,180 Difference$40,805
CityPhoenix Major City Average$307,780 Suburbs Average$494,881 Difference$187,101 Cheapest SuburbEl Mirage Cheapest Average$255,682 Difference-$52,098
CityJacksonville Major City Average$207,884 Suburbs Average$405,348 Difference$197,464 Cheapest SuburbYulee Cheapest Average$241,759 Difference$33,875
CitySan Jose Major City Average$1,115,456 Suburbs Average$1,604,670 Difference$489,214 Cheapest SuburbHayward Cheapest Average$767,339 Difference-$348,117
CityAverage Major City Average$454,648 Suburbs Average$483,739 Difference$29,092 Cheapest SuburbAverage Cheapest Average$276,090 Difference-$178,558

Our analysis found that the average suburban three-bedroom home costs $29,092 more than in the major city - $483,739 compared to $454,648. The average suburban three-bedroom home near a major city costs 7.7 times the median household, compared to the inner city average of 7.2 times.

San Francisco - despite being one of the most expensive cities - has the largest difference between the inner-city and suburban average. The suburban three-bedroom home costs $245,103 less than those in the inner city.

Washington DC has the second biggest difference between city and suburban averages, the average suburban home costing $222,792 less. 

San Jose meanwhile sees the opposite of San Francisco and Washington DC, with the average three-bedroom home $489,214 more in the suburbs than in the city.

Average Four Bedroom Prices

City Major City Average Suburbs Average Difference Cheapest Suburb Cheapest Average Difference
CityWashington DC Major City Average$970,338 Suburbs Average$662,570 Difference-$307,768 Cheapest SuburbClinton Cheapest Average$377,663 Difference-$592,675
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$2,000,303 Suburbs Average$1,737,456 Difference-$262,847 Cheapest SuburbRichmond Cheapest Average$739,845 Difference-$1,260,458
CityAustin Major City Average$581,855 Suburbs Average$404,809 Difference-$177,046 Cheapest SuburbLockhart Cheapest Average$250,327 Difference-$331,528
CitySeattle Major City Average$1,032,526 Suburbs Average$856,228 Difference-$176,298 Cheapest SuburbBremerton Cheapest Average$435,501 Difference-$597,025
CityNew York Major City Average$808,363 Suburbs Average$637,198 Difference-$171,165 Cheapest SuburbIrvington Cheapest Average$283,666 Difference-$524,697
CityDallas Major City Average$481,866 Suburbs Average$368,124 Difference-$113,742 Cheapest SuburbBalch Springs Cheapest Average$212,453 Difference-$269,413
CityDenver Major City Average$681,930 Suburbs Average$608,207 Difference-$73,723 Cheapest SuburbBrighton Cheapest Average$451,379 Difference-$230,551
CityEl Paso Major City Average$207,983 Suburbs Average$192,069 Difference-$15,914 Cheapest SuburbHorizon Cheapest Average$156,329 Difference-$51,654
CityCharlotte Major City Average$370,962 Suburbs Average$361,658 Difference-$9,304 Cheapest SuburbGastonia Cheapest Average$280,527 Difference-$90,435
CityNashville Major City Average$441,806 Suburbs Average$436,670 Difference-$5,136 Cheapest SuburbLa Vergne Cheapest Average$295,998 Difference-$145,808
CityOklahoma Major City Average$242,278 Suburbs Average$248,059 Difference$5,781 Cheapest SuburbEl Reno Cheapest Average$174,283 Difference-$67,995
CityBoston Major City Average$743,137 Suburbs Average$777,356 Difference$34,219 Cheapest SuburbLawrence Cheapest Average$387,084 Difference-$356,053
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$273,763 Suburbs Average$313,864 Difference$40,101 Cheapest SuburbConverse Cheapest Average$218,094 Difference-$55,669
CityChicago Major City Average$340,582 Suburbs Average$392,262 Difference$51,680 Cheapest SuburbCalumet Cheapest Average$132,541 Difference-$208,041
CityHouston Major City Average$256,824 Suburbs Average$309,365 Difference$52,541 Cheapest SuburbGalena Park Cheapest Average$161,365 Difference-$95,459
CityColumbus Major City Average$277,200 Suburbs Average$342,408 Difference$65,208 Cheapest SuburbLondon Cheapest Average$209,123 Difference-$68,077
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$239,794 Suburbs Average$310,137 Difference$70,343 Cheapest SuburbBeech Grove Cheapest Average$181,558 Difference-$58,236
CityFort Worth Major City Average$287,012 Suburbs Average$380,645 Difference$93,633 Cheapest SuburbWhite Settlement Cheapest Average$209,000 Difference-$78,012
CitySan Diego Major City Average$922,686 Suburbs Average$1,049,459 Difference$126,773 Cheapest SuburbNational Cheapest Average$582,740 Difference-$339,946
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$262,908 Suburbs Average$392,152 Difference$129,244 Cheapest SuburbPenns Grove Cheapest Average$75,040 Difference-$187,868
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$970,573 Suburbs Average$1,101,761 Difference$131,188 Cheapest SuburbCompton Cheapest Average$538,886 Difference-$431,687
CityDetroit Major City Average$66,130 Suburbs Average$265,352 Difference$199,222 Cheapest SuburbMelvindale Cheapest Average$117,456 Difference$51,326
CityPhoenix Major City Average$388,250 Suburbs Average$598,345 Difference$210,095 Cheapest SuburbEl Mirage Cheapest Average$277,810 Difference-$110,440
CityJacksonville Major City Average$293,386 Suburbs Average$585,328 Difference$291,942 Cheapest SuburbYulee Cheapest Average$284,127 Difference-$9,259
CitySan Jose Major City Average$1,321,296 Suburbs Average$2,032,995 Difference$711,699 Cheapest SuburbHayward Cheapest Average$933,135 Difference-$388,161
CityAverage Major City Average$578,550 Suburbs Average$614,579 Difference$36,029 Cheapest SuburbAverage Cheapest Average$318,637 Difference-$259,913

Just 10 of the 25 cities analyzed have cheaper suburban four-bedroom homes, with the average cost of a suburban four-bedroom near one of the 25 cities analyzed being $614,579. In comparison, the average cost of a four-bedroom in the major cities was found to be $578,550, a difference of $36,029.

While those in San Jose looking at the suburbs for a four-bedroom home could face paying $711,699 more than in the city, those in Washington DC could save $307,768 by looking a little further afield.

The cities with the cheapest suburbs against local median annual household income are El Paso (4.0x), Oklahoma (4.5x), and Austin (5.7x). While a move to a suburban town or city near Austin or El Paso can save you money ($177,046 and $15,914 respectively), in Oklahoma a move away from the city adds an average of $5,781 to the price.

Average Five (Or More) Bedroom Prices

City Major City Average Suburbs Average Difference Cheapest Suburb Cheapest Average Difference
CityWashington DC Major City Average$1,507,023 Suburbs Average$799,314 Difference-$707,709 Cheapest SuburbClinton Cheapest Average$406,859 Difference-$1,100,164
CityDallas Major City Average$937,921 Suburbs Average$470,355 Difference-$467,566 Cheapest SuburbSeagoville Cheapest Average$254,600 Difference-$683,321
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$2,593,958 Suburbs Average$2,133,099 Difference-$460,859 Cheapest SuburbRichmond Cheapest Average$869,240 Difference-$1,724,718
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$1,786,512 Suburbs Average$1,460,305 Difference-$326,207 Cheapest SuburbCompton Cheapest Average$603,333 Difference-$1,183,179
CityAustin Major City Average$810,783 Suburbs Average$525,455 Difference-$285,328 Cheapest SuburbLockhart Cheapest Average$304,945 Difference-$505,838
CityNew York Major City Average$1,089,813 Suburbs Average$810,792 Difference-$279,021 Cheapest SuburbIrvington Cheapest Average$311,657 Difference-$778,156
CityNashville Major City Average$776,534 Suburbs Average$557,355 Difference-$219,179 Cheapest SuburbLa Vergne Cheapest Average$352,272 Difference-$424,262
CitySeattle Major City Average$1,181,308 Suburbs Average$966,737 Difference-$214,571 Cheapest SuburbBremerton Cheapest Average$468,632 Difference-$712,676
CityDenver Major City Average$888,696 Suburbs Average$701,361 Difference-$187,335 Cheapest SuburbBrighton Cheapest Average$478,114 Difference-$410,582
CityEl Paso Major City Average$312,483 Suburbs Average$250,212 Difference-$62,271 Cheapest SuburbHorizon Cheapest Average$215,786 Difference-$96,697
CityCharlotte Major City Average$545,680 Suburbs Average$486,047 Difference-$59,633 Cheapest SuburbMonroe Cheapest Average$344,858 Difference-$200,822
CityOklahoma Major City Average$362,000 Suburbs Average$336,512 Difference-$25,488 Cheapest SuburbEl Reno Cheapest Average$212,648 Difference-$149,352
CitySan Diego Major City Average$1,325,628 Suburbs Average$1,311,313 Difference-$14,315 Cheapest SuburbNational Cheapest Average$640,178 Difference-$685,450
CityHouston Major City Average$413,960 Suburbs Average$415,406 Difference$1,446 Cheapest SuburbGalena Park Cheapest Average$177,064 Difference-$236,896
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$365,517 Suburbs Average$382,553 Difference$17,036 Cheapest SuburbConverse Cheapest Average$265,055 Difference-$100,462
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$363,606 Suburbs Average$401,922 Difference$38,316 Cheapest SuburbBeech Grove Cheapest Average$198,755 Difference-$164,851
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$376,210 Suburbs Average$459,403 Difference$83,193 Cheapest SuburbPenns Grove Cheapest Average$80,350 Difference-$295,860
CityBoston Major City Average$840,715 Suburbs Average$952,773 Difference$112,058 Cheapest SuburbLawrence Cheapest Average$447,923 Difference-$392,792
CityChicago Major City Average$387,052 Suburbs Average$500,091 Difference$113,039 Cheapest SuburbCalumet Cheapest Average$135,663 Difference-$251,389
CityColumbus Major City Average$325,424 Suburbs Average$459,120 Difference$133,696 Cheapest SuburbLondon Cheapest Average$213,015 Difference-$112,409
CityFort Worth Major City Average$351,749 Suburbs Average$489,325 Difference$137,576 Cheapest SuburbWhite Settlement Cheapest Average$248,464 Difference-$103,285
CityDetroit Major City Average$123,184 Suburbs Average$296,442 Difference$173,258 Cheapest SuburbPontiac Cheapest Average$116,836 Difference-$6,348
CityPhoenix Major City Average$554,692 Suburbs Average$788,951 Difference$234,259 Cheapest SuburbEl Mirage Cheapest Average$315,856 Difference-$238,836
CityJacksonville Major City Average$404,644 Suburbs Average$776,498 Difference$371,854 Cheapest SuburbYulee Cheapest Average$322,560 Difference-$82,084
CitySan Jose Major City Average$1,655,511 Suburbs Average$2,441,527 Difference$786,016 Cheapest SuburbHayward Cheapest Average$1,233,416 Difference-$422,095
CityAverage Major City Average$811,224 Suburbs Average$766,915 Difference-$44,309 Cheapest SuburbAverage Cheapest Average$368,723 Difference-$442,501

The average five (or more) bedroom home in the 25 major cities analyzed costs $811,224, the most expensive of which is found in San Francisco ($2,593,958). In comparison, the average suburban 5+ bedroom home in the suburbs of these cities costs $766,915, an average difference of $44,309.

Washington DC has the largest difference between city and suburbs, with the average suburban 5+ bedroom home costing $707,709 less than in the city limits, and savings of nearly double of what can be saved in Dallas ($467,566).

Within Dallas’ city limits the average cost of a five (or more) bedroom home is $937,921, and 17.8 times the local median annual household income (the third-highest local income to price difference). Only Los Angeles (28.7x) and San Francisco (23.1x) have wider gaps between median household income and the cost of a five (or more) bedroom home within the city.

City & Suburb Rents

For many, rentals are the first (and in some cases) only way people can find a place of their own, especially in major cities where one-bedroom homes can be as much as nine times the median household income.

To understand more about rental costs in 25 of the most populated cities in the US, we analyzed Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) data to reveal the average rental costs of one to four (or more) bedroom homes in the major cities, and their nearby suburban city and towns.

Average Rental Cost In Each City

On average a major city rental will cost the average American $2,149 per month, with a move to a suburban city or town dropping the average monthly outlay to $2,107, a difference of $42 per month and 0.8% of the median household monthly income ($5,237).

This might not sound like a lot but as the chart below shows, the variation in the average costs can change city to city, with 20 of the 25 areas analyzed showing the suburbs to be at least an average of $200 cheaper per month.

City Major City Average Suburbs Average Average Rental Difference City Rent % Median Income Suburb Rent % Median Income
CitySan Jose Major City Average$4,658 Suburbs Average$4,093 Average Rental Difference-$565 City Rent % Median Income51.0% Suburb Rent % Median Income44.8%
CitySan Diego Major City Average$3,354 Suburbs Average$2,983 Average Rental Difference-$371 City Rent % Median Income50.5% Suburb Rent % Median Income44.9%
CityBoston Major City Average$2,787 Suburbs Average$2,500 Average Rental Difference-$286 City Rent % Median Income47.0% Suburb Rent % Median Income42.2%
CityCharlotte Major City Average$1,896 Suburbs Average$1,618 Average Rental Difference-$278 City Rent % Median Income36.2% Suburb Rent % Median Income30.9%
CityNew York Major City Average$2,742 Suburbs Average$2,526 Average Rental Difference-$216 City Rent % Median Income51.4% Suburb Rent % Median Income47.4%
CityEl Paso Major City Average$1,282 Suburbs Average$1,088 Average Rental Difference-$194 City Rent % Median Income32.3% Suburb Rent % Median Income27.4%
CitySeattle Major City Average$3,026 Suburbs Average$2,868 Average Rental Difference-$159 City Rent % Median Income39.4% Suburb Rent % Median Income37.3%
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$4,182 Suburbs Average$4,041 Average Rental Difference-$141 City Rent % Median Income44.6% Suburb Rent % Median Income43.1%
CityDenver Major City Average$2,121 Suburbs Average$1,999 Average Rental Difference-$122 City Rent % Median Income37.1% Suburb Rent % Median Income35.0%
CityColumbus Major City Average$1,515 Suburbs Average$1,412 Average Rental Difference-$104 City Rent % Median Income33.8% Suburb Rent % Median Income31.5%
CityNashville Major City Average$1,784 Suburbs Average$1,700 Average Rental Difference-$84 City Rent % Median Income35.8% Suburb Rent % Median Income34.1%
CityPhoenix Major City Average$1,803 Suburbs Average$1,778 Average Rental Difference-$25 City Rent % Median Income37.7% Suburb Rent % Median Income37.1%
CityAustin Major City Average$1,984 Suburbs Average$2,015 Average Rental Difference$30 City Rent % Median Income33.3% Suburb Rent % Median Income33.8%
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$2,766 Suburbs Average$2,820 Average Rental Difference$54 City Rent % Median Income53.4% Suburb Rent % Median Income54.5%
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$1,331 Suburbs Average$1,392 Average Rental Difference$61 City Rent % Median Income33.4% Suburb Rent % Median Income34.9%
CityFort Worth Major City Average$1,765 Suburbs Average$1,841 Average Rental Difference$76 City Rent % Median Income34.1% Suburb Rent % Median Income35.5%
CityWashington DC Major City Average$2,530 Suburbs Average$2,615 Average Rental Difference$85 City Rent % Median Income35.1% Suburb Rent % Median Income36.3%
CityDetroit Major City Average$1,317 Suburbs Average$1,412 Average Rental Difference$95 City Rent % Median Income51.2% Suburb Rent % Median Income54.8%
CityChicago Major City Average$1,615 Suburbs Average$1,752 Average Rental Difference$137 City Rent % Median Income33.3% Suburb Rent % Median Income36.1%
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$1,601 Suburbs Average$1,742 Average Rental Difference$140 City Rent % Median Income58.6% Suburb Rent % Median Income63.7%
CityDallas Major City Average$1,695 Suburbs Average$1,839 Average Rental Difference$144 City Rent % Median Income38.7% Suburb Rent % Median Income42.0%
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$1,622 Suburbs Average$1,771 Average Rental Difference$149 City Rent % Median Income37.1% Suburb Rent % Median Income40.5%
CityHouston Major City Average$1,646 Suburbs Average$1,800 Average Rental Difference$154 City Rent % Median Income37.7% Suburb Rent % Median Income41.3%
CityOklahoma Major City Average$1,175 Suburbs Average$1,346 Average Rental Difference$171 City Rent % Median Income25.4% Suburb Rent % Median Income29.1%
CityJacksonville Major City Average$1,522 Suburbs Average$1,723 Average Rental Difference$201 City Rent % Median Income33.4% Suburb Rent % Median Income37.8%
CityAverage Major City Average$2,149 Suburbs Average$2,107 Average Rental Difference-$42 City Rent % Median Income41.0% Suburb Rent % Median Income40.2%

On average rentals in San Jos’s suburbs are $565 cheaper per month than in the inner city, with the monthly cost of a rental 51.0% of the median household (monthly) income but just 44.8% as an average in the suburban towns and cities.

San Diego ($371 per month) and Boston ($286) have the second and third biggest differences between average city and suburban rents per month, with those in San Diego seeing an 11.1% reduction when looking to rent outside the city.

To help reveal the costs of rentals in the cities analyzed and their suburban towns, we’ve further investigated the average cost of one, two, three, and four or more bedroom homes in each of the cites:

Average One Bedroom Rental

City Major City Average Suburbs Average Difference Cheapest Suburb Cheapest Average Difference
CitySan Jose Major City Average$3,614 Suburbs Average$3,042 Difference-$572 Cheapest SuburbAlameda Cheapest Average$1,880 Difference-$1,734
CitySan Diego Major City Average$2,238 Suburbs Average$1,925 Difference-$313 Cheapest SuburbLemon Grove Cheapest Average$700 Difference-$1,538
CityNew York Major City Average$2,192 Suburbs Average$1,901 Difference-$291 Cheapest SuburbFort Lee Cheapest Average$680 Difference-$1,512
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$3,131 Suburbs Average$2,900 Difference-$231 Cheapest SuburbHayward Cheapest Average$1,988 Difference-$1,144
CityCharlotte Major City Average$1,367 Suburbs Average$1,137 Difference-$231 Cheapest SuburbMount Holly Cheapest Average$590 Difference-$777
CityDenver Major City Average$1,510 Suburbs Average$1,361 Difference-$149 Cheapest SuburbLafayette Cheapest Average$730 Difference-$780
CityBoston Major City Average$2,039 Suburbs Average$1,890 Difference-$148 Cheapest SuburbRevere Cheapest Average$770 Difference-$1,269
CityEl Paso Major City Average$898 Suburbs Average$750 Difference-$148 Cheapest SuburbCanutillo Cheapest Average$750 Difference-$148
CitySeattle Major City Average$2,072 Suburbs Average$1,959 Difference-$113 Cheapest SuburbPort Orchard Cheapest Average$1,310 Difference-$762
CityColumbus Major City Average$1,178 Suburbs Average$1,079 Difference-$99 Cheapest SuburbLondon Cheapest Average$875 Difference-$303
CityNashville Major City Average$1,308 Suburbs Average$1,211 Difference-$96 Cheapest SuburbFranklin Cheapest Average$917 Difference-$391
CityPhoenix Major City Average$1,266 Suburbs Average$1,194 Difference-$72 Cheapest SuburbGoodyear Cheapest Average$970 Difference-$296
CityAustin Major City Average$1,432 Suburbs Average$1,443 Difference$11 Cheapest SuburbBuda Cheapest Average$920 Difference-$512
CityFort Worth Major City Average$1,197 Suburbs Average$1,208 Difference$12 Cheapest SuburbAzle Cheapest Average$740 Difference-$457
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$980 Suburbs Average$1,004 Difference$24 Cheapest SuburbWestfield Cheapest Average$670 Difference-$310
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$1,182 Suburbs Average$1,213 Difference$30 Cheapest SuburbSchertz Cheapest Average$820 Difference-$362
CityDetroit Major City Average$1,064 Suburbs Average$1,097 Difference$34 Cheapest SuburbAuburn Hills Cheapest Average$670 Difference-$394
CityDallas Major City Average$1,142 Suburbs Average$1,187 Difference$45 Cheapest SuburbBedford Cheapest Average$780 Difference-$362
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$2,028 Suburbs Average$2,091 Difference$63 Cheapest SuburbLomita Cheapest Average$800 Difference-$1,228
CityHouston Major City Average$1,112 Suburbs Average$1,186 Difference$74 Cheapest SuburbGalena Park Cheapest Average$890 Difference-$222
CityWashington DC Major City Average$1,839 Suburbs Average$1,919 Difference$80 Cheapest SuburbAnnandale Cheapest Average$1,220 Difference-$619
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$1,260 Suburbs Average$1,360 Difference$100 Cheapest SuburbBerlin Cheapest Average$950 Difference-$310
CityJacksonville Major City Average$1,072 Suburbs Average$1,186 Difference$114 Cheapest SuburbFernandina Beach Cheapest Average$900 Difference-$172
CityChicago Major City Average$1,143 Suburbs Average$1,265 Difference$122 Cheapest SuburbElmhurst Cheapest Average$780 Difference-$363
CityOklahoma Major City Average$790 Suburbs Average$968 Difference$178 Cheapest SuburbGuthrie Cheapest Average$790 Difference$0
CityAverage Major City Average$1,562 Suburbs Average$1,499 Difference-$63 Cheapest SuburbAverage Cheapest Average$924 Difference-$639

San Jose has the biggest difference between city and suburban rent prices, the average inner-city one bedroom costing $572 more than in the suburbs, a city home costing the equivalent of 39.6% of the monthly median household income in the city.

On average, a one-bedroom in the cities analyzed costs $1,562 per month, with those in suburbs costing an average of $1,499 - a difference of $63 per month. 

Our analysis found the suburbs of El Paso, Oklahoma, and Charlotte cost the least when compared to local median household incomes. Those in El Paso would pay just 18.9% of their monthly income on an average one-bedroom home in a suburban town or city, while those in Oklahoma would pay 20.9%, and Charlotte 21.7%.

Average Two Bedroom Rental

City Major City Average Suburbs Average City-Suburb AvgDifference Cheapest Suburb Cheapest Average City-Cheapest Difference
CitySan Jose Major City Average$4,658 Suburbs Average$3,993 City-Suburb Avg-$666 Cheapest SuburbAlameda Cheapest Average$2,490 City-Cheapest Difference-$2,168
CitySan Diego Major City Average$3,146 Suburbs Average$2,714 City-Suburb Avg-$432 Cheapest SuburbLemon Grove Cheapest Average$940 City-Cheapest Difference-$2,206
CityNew York Major City Average$2,777 Suburbs Average$2,423 City-Suburb Avg-$353 Cheapest SuburbFort Lee Cheapest Average$850 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,927
CityCharlotte Major City Average$1,797 Suburbs Average$1,478 City-Suburb Avg-$319 Cheapest SuburbMount Holly Cheapest Average$790 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,007
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$4,103 Suburbs Average$3,808 City-Suburb Avg-$295 Cheapest SuburbHayward Cheapest Average$2,650 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,453
CityDenver Major City Average$2,042 Suburbs Average$1,843 City-Suburb Avg-$199 Cheapest SuburbLafayette Cheapest Average$950 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,092
CityEl Paso Major City Average$1,243 Suburbs Average$1,060 City-Suburb Avg-$183 Cheapest SuburbCanutillo Cheapest Average$1,060 City-Cheapest Difference-$183
CityColumbus Major City Average$1,542 Suburbs Average$1,366 City-Suburb Avg-$176 Cheapest SuburbLondon Cheapest Average$1,110 City-Cheapest Difference-$432
CityBoston Major City Average$2,546 Suburbs Average$2,375 City-Suburb Avg-$171 Cheapest SuburbRevere Cheapest Average$960 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,586
CitySeattle Major City Average$2,937 Suburbs Average$2,780 City-Suburb Avg-$157 Cheapest SuburbPort Orchard Cheapest Average$1,850 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,087
CityNashville Major City Average$1,681 Suburbs Average$1,562 City-Suburb Avg-$120 Cheapest SuburbFranklin Cheapest Average$1,190 City-Cheapest Difference-$491
CityPhoenix Major City Average$1,787 Suburbs Average$1,679 City-Suburb Avg-$108 Cheapest SuburbGoodyear Cheapest Average$1,320 City-Cheapest Difference-$467
CityFort Worth Major City Average$1,592 Suburbs Average$1,597 City-Suburb Avg$5 Cheapest SuburbAzle Cheapest Average$985 City-Cheapest Difference-$607
CityAustin Major City Average$1,862 Suburbs Average$1,884 City-Suburb Avg$23 Cheapest SuburbBuda Cheapest Average$1,180 City-Cheapest Difference-$682
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$1,533 Suburbs Average$1,572 City-Suburb Avg$39 Cheapest SuburbSchertz Cheapest Average$1,070 City-Cheapest Difference-$463
CityDetroit Major City Average$1,388 Suburbs Average$1,437 City-Suburb Avg$50 Cheapest SuburbAuburn Hills Cheapest Average$960 City-Cheapest Difference-$428
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$1,297 Suburbs Average$1,357 City-Suburb Avg$60 Cheapest SuburbWestfield Cheapest Average$880 City-Cheapest Difference-$417
CityDallas Major City Average$1,485 Suburbs Average$1,559 City-Suburb Avg$74 Cheapest SuburbBedford Cheapest Average$1,035 City-Cheapest Difference-$450
CityHouston Major City Average$1,489 Suburbs Average$1,587 City-Suburb Avg$98 Cheapest SuburbGalena Park Cheapest Average$1,150 City-Cheapest Difference-$339
CityWashington DC Major City Average$2,366 Suburbs Average$2,465 City-Suburb Avg$99 Cheapest SuburbAnnandale Cheapest Average$1,590 City-Cheapest Difference-$776
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$2,704 Suburbs Average$2,802 City-Suburb Avg$99 Cheapest SuburbLomita Cheapest Average$1,070 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,634
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$1,567 Suburbs Average$1,691 City-Suburb Avg$124 Cheapest SuburbBerlin Cheapest Average$1,180 City-Cheapest Difference-$387
CityChicago Major City Average$1,470 Suburbs Average$1,634 City-Suburb Avg$164 Cheapest SuburbWilmette Cheapest Average$1,030 City-Cheapest Difference-$440
CityJacksonville Major City Average$1,410 Suburbs Average$1,574 City-Suburb Avg$164 Cheapest SuburbFernandina Beach Cheapest Average$1,180 City-Cheapest Difference-$230
CityOklahoma Major City Average$982 Suburbs Average$1,306 City-Suburb Avg$324 Cheapest SuburbGuthrie Cheapest Average$1,070 City-Cheapest Difference$88
CityAverage Major City Average$2,056 Suburbs Average$1,982 City-Suburb Avg-$74 Cheapest SuburbAverage Cheapest Average$1,222 City-Cheapest Difference-$835

On average two-bedroom homes in the cities analyzed cost $2,056 per month, with a two-bedroom in the suburban towns and cities analyzed costing $1,982 - a difference of $74 per month.

The best value for looking at the suburbs over the city itself are found in San Jose, San Diego, and New York, where residents could save as much as $666 (San Jose).

For those looking to spend the least share of their monthly salary, the best deals can be found in El Paso, where the average suburban two-bedroom rental costs just 26.7% of the local monthly median household income ($3,964).

Average Three Bedroom Rental

City Major City Average Suburbs Average City-Suburb AvgDifference Cheapest Suburb Cheapest Average City-Cheapest Difference
CitySan Diego Major City Average$3,842 Suburbs Average$3,322 City-Suburb Avg-$520 Cheapest SuburbLemonGrove Cheapest Average$1,080 City-Cheapest Difference-$2,762
CitySan Jose Major City Average$5,062 Suburbs Average$4,545 City-Suburb Avg-$517 Cheapest SuburbAlameda Cheapest Average$3,065 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,997
CityCharlotte Major City Average$2,233 Suburbs Average$1,795 City-Suburb Avg-$439 Cheapest SuburbMountHolly Cheapest Average$960 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,273
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$4,731 Suburbs Average$4,350 City-Suburb Avg-$381 Cheapest SuburbHayward Cheapest Average$3,193 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,539
CityColumbus Major City Average$1,890 Suburbs Average$1,575 City-Suburb Avg-$315 Cheapest SuburbLondon Cheapest Average$1,255 City-Cheapest Difference-$635
CityDenver Major City Average$2,305 Suburbs Average$2,087 City-Suburb Avg-$218 Cheapest SuburbLafayette Cheapest Average$1,010 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,295
CityEl Paso Major City Average$1,480 Suburbs Average$1,270 City-Suburb Avg-$210 Cheapest SuburbCanutillo Cheapest Average$1,270 City-Cheapest Difference-$210
CityNew York Major City Average$2,985 Suburbs Average$2,792 City-Suburb Avg-$194 Cheapest SuburbFort Lee Cheapest Average$940 City-Cheapest Difference-$2,045
CitySeattle Major City Average$3,454 Suburbs Average$3,268 City-Suburb Avg-$186 Cheapest SuburbPortOrchard Cheapest Average$2,135 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,319
CityBoston Major City Average$2,795 Suburbs Average$2,638 City-Suburb Avg-$157 Cheapest SuburbRevere Cheapest Average$1,080 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,715
CityNashville Major City Average$2,040 Suburbs Average$1,903 City-Suburb Avg-$138 Cheapest SuburbFranklin Cheapest Average$1,417 City-Cheapest Difference-$624
CityPhoenix Major City Average$2,038 Suburbs Average$1,915 City-Suburb Avg-$123 Cheapest SuburbGoodyear Cheapest Average$1,485 City-Cheapest Difference-$553
CityFort Worth Major City Average$1,995 Suburbs Average$2,014 City-Suburb Avg$19 Cheapest SuburbAzle Cheapest Average$1,195 City-Cheapest Difference-$800
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$1,900 Suburbs Average$1,936 City-Suburb Avg$36 Cheapest SuburbSchertz Cheapest Average$1,260 City-Cheapest Difference-$640
CityAustin Major City Average$2,222 Suburbs Average$2,266 City-Suburb Avg$44 Cheapest SuburbBuda Cheapest Average$1,480 City-Cheapest Difference-$742
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$1,488 Suburbs Average$1,543 City-Suburb Avg$54 Cheapest SuburbWestfield Cheapest Average$930 City-Cheapest Difference-$558
CityDetroit Major City Average$1,536 Suburbs Average$1,597 City-Suburb Avg$61 Cheapest SuburbAuburnHills Cheapest Average$1,160 City-Cheapest Difference-$376
CityWashington DC Major City Average$2,861 Suburbs Average$2,975 City-Suburb Avg$114 Cheapest SuburbAnnandale Cheapest Average$1,950 City-Cheapest Difference-$911
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$2,967 Suburbs Average$3,090 City-Suburb Avg$123 Cheapest SuburbLomita Cheapest Average$1,230 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,737
CityHouston Major City Average$1,857 Suburbs Average$1,997 City-Suburb Avg$141 Cheapest SuburbGalenaPark Cheapest Average$1,300 City-Cheapest Difference-$557
CityDallas Major City Average$1,835 Suburbs Average$1,978 City-Suburb Avg$142 Cheapest SuburbBedford Cheapest Average$1,230 City-Cheapest Difference-$605
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$1,794 Suburbs Average$1,938 City-Suburb Avg$144 Cheapest SuburbBerlin Cheapest Average$1,350 City-Cheapest Difference-$444
CityJacksonville Major City Average$1,775 Suburbs Average$1,986 City-Suburb Avg$211 Cheapest SuburbFernandina beach Cheapest Average$1,500 City-Cheapest Difference-$275
CityOklahoma Major City Average$1,326 Suburbs Average$1,573 City-Suburb Avg$247 Cheapest SuburbGuthrie Cheapest Average$1,260 City-Cheapest Difference-$66
CityChicago Major City Average$1,699 Suburbs Average$1,972 City-Suburb Avg$273 Cheapest SuburbWilmette Cheapest Average$1,140 City-Cheapest Difference-$559
CityAverage Major City Average$2,404 Suburbs Average$2,333 City-Suburb Avg-$71 Cheapest SuburbAverage Cheapest Average$1,435 City-Cheapest Difference-$969

The city with the biggest difference between city cost and the average suburban cost is San Diego, where residents that look a little further out can find three-bedroom homes for $520 less per month ($3,322).

On average three-bedroom in the 25 cities analyzed cost an average of $2,404 per month, 45.9% of the national monthly median household income. While the suburban towns and cities near the major cities cost an average of $2,333 - a difference of $71 per month.

El Paso has the cheapest suburbs of cities analyzed, the average cost of a three-bedroom rental near the city costing $1,270 per month, 32.0% of the median monthly household income. The most expensive being found in San Jose ($4,545), though it is still $517 cheaper than the city cost.

Average Four (Or More) Bedroom Rental

City Major City Average Suburbs Average City-Suburb AvgDifference Cheapest Suburb Cheapest Average City-Cheapest Difference
CityBoston Major City Average$3,766 Suburbs Average$3,097 City-Suburb Avg-$669 Cheapest SuburbLawrence Cheapest Average$1,893 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,873
CitySan Jose Major City Average$5,299 Suburbs Average$4,791 City-Suburb Avg-$507 Cheapest SuburbRichmond Cheapest Average$3,433 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,865
CityEl Paso Major City Average$1,506 Suburbs Average$1,270 City-Suburb Avg-$236 Cheapest SuburbCanutillo Cheapest Average$1,270 City-Cheapest Difference-$236
CitySan Diego Major City Average$4,188 Suburbs Average$3,969 City-Suburb Avg-$219 Cheapest SuburbLakeside Cheapest Average$3,220 City-Cheapest Difference-$968
CitySeattle Major City Average$3,643 Suburbs Average$3,464 City-Suburb Avg-$179 Cheapest SuburbBremerton Cheapest Average$2,240 City-Cheapest Difference-$1,403
CityCharlotte Major City Average$2,187 Suburbs Average$2,063 City-Suburb Avg-$124 Cheapest SuburbMount Holly Cheapest Average$1,580 City-Cheapest Difference-$607
CityLos Angeles Major City Average$3,366 Suburbs Average$3,296 City-Suburb Avg-$69 Cheapest SuburbSouth ElMonte Cheapest Average$2,580 City-Cheapest Difference-$786
CityOklahoma Major City Average$1,600 Suburbs Average$1,537 City-Suburb Avg-$63 Cheapest SuburbGuthrie Cheapest Average$1,360 City-Cheapest Difference-$240
CityNew York Major City Average$3,013 Suburbs Average$2,987 City-Suburb Avg-$26 Cheapest SuburbElizabeth Cheapest Average$2,268 City-Cheapest Difference-$746
CityChicago Major City Average$2,148 Suburbs Average$2,137 City-Suburb Avg-$10 Cheapest SuburbHammond Cheapest Average$1,288 City-Cheapest Difference-$860
CityNashville Major City Average$2,108 Suburbs Average$2,126 City-Suburb Avg$18 Cheapest SuburbGallatin Cheapest Average$1,680 City-Cheapest Difference-$428
CityAustin Major City Average$2,421 Suburbs Average$2,465 City-Suburb Avg$44 Cheapest SuburbLockhart Cheapest Average$1,920 City-Cheapest Difference-$501
CityWashington DC Major City Average$3,052 Suburbs Average$3,100 City-Suburb Avg$48 Cheapest SuburbHyattsville Cheapest Average$2,080 City-Cheapest Difference-$972
CityDenver Major City Average$2,626 Suburbs Average$2,705 City-Suburb Avg$79 Cheapest SuburbWheat Ridge Cheapest Average$2,240 City-Cheapest Difference-$386
CityIndianapolis Major City Average$1,559 Suburbs Average$1,665 City-Suburb Avg$106 Cheapest SuburbLebanon Cheapest Average$1,300 City-Cheapest Difference-$259
CityColumbus Major City Average$1,451 Suburbs Average$1,627 City-Suburb Avg$176 Cheapest SuburbLancaster Cheapest Average$1,310 City-Cheapest Difference-$141
CityPhiladelphia Major City Average$1,784 Suburbs Average$1,977 City-Suburb Avg$194 Cheapest SuburbBellmawr Cheapest Average$1,410 City-Cheapest Difference-$374
CityPhoenix Major City Average$2,122 Suburbs Average$2,325 City-Suburb Avg$203 Cheapest SuburbEl Mirage Cheapest Average$1,830 City-Cheapest Difference-$292
CityDetroit Major City Average$1,282 Suburbs Average$1,516 City-Suburb Avg$234 Cheapest SuburbWayne Cheapest Average$1,240 City-Cheapest Difference-$42
CityFort Worth Major City Average$2,278 Suburbs Average$2,545 City-Suburb Avg$267 Cheapest SuburbAzle Cheapest Average$1,810 City-Cheapest Difference-$468
CityHouston Major City Average$2,128 Suburbs Average$2,429 City-Suburb Avg$300 Cheapest SuburbSouth Houston Cheapest Average$1,700 City-Cheapest Difference-$428
CityDallas Major City Average$2,317 Suburbs Average$2,632 City-Suburb Avg$314 Cheapest SuburbBalch Springs Cheapest Average$2,080 City-Cheapest Difference-$237
CityJacksonville Major City Average$1,831 Suburbs Average$2,146 City-Suburb Avg$315 Cheapest SuburbAtlantic beach Cheapest Average$1,980 City-Cheapest Difference$149
CitySan Francisco Major City Average$4,765 Suburbs Average$5,107 City-Suburb Avg$342 Cheapest SuburbHayward Cheapest Average$3,960 City-Cheapest Difference-$805
CitySan Antonio Major City Average$1,872 Suburbs Average$2,363 City-Suburb Avg$491 Cheapest SuburbConverse Cheapest Average$2,170 City-Cheapest Difference$298
CityAverage Major City Average$2,572 Suburbs Average$2,614 City-Suburb Avg$41 Cheapest SuburbAverage Cheapest Average$1,994 City-Cheapest Difference-$579

The average four-bedroom (or more) rental across the area analyzed is (on average) $41 per month more in the suburbs than in the major city. While the average city four-bedroom rental costs $2,572 per month, in the suburban towns and cities analyzed the cost was $2,614.

That said, in Boston, a move to the suburbs can save $669, and spend just 52.3% of the median monthly income. San Jose ($507) and El Paso ($236) have the second and third biggest savings when moving to the suburbs.

Methodology & Sources


House price data was collated using Zillow data covering the first three months of 2021. ‘Suburb cities’ were plotted within a radius of 25 miles from the major city and analyzed based on a population cap of greater than 10,000 and below 250,000. Where some ‘suburbs’ lacked house price data, we excluded results to ensure average figures were not impacted.

Rental data was sourced from where we matched zipcodes against each city located during the house price search to produce and average per city. Where rental data was unavailable or zip codes did not match, the suburb was omitted from the rental search.

The major cities were chosen based on being the most populated in the US.

Percentages and times values were rounded to one decimal place (xx.x), to better explain and show variance between values.

Latest [2] median income for each city major city analyzed:

City Household Median Yearly Income Household Median Monthly Income
CityNational Household Median Yearly Income$62,843.00 Household Median Monthly Income$5,236.92
CityAustin Household Median Yearly Income$71,576.00 Household Median Monthly Income$5,964.67
CityBoston Household Median Yearly Income$71,115.00 Household Median Monthly Income$5,926.25
CityCharlotte Household Median Yearly Income$62,817.00 Household Median Monthly Income$5,234.75
CityChicago Household Median Yearly Income$58,247.00 Household Median Monthly Income$4,853.92
CityColumbus Household Median Yearly Income$53,745.00 Household Median Monthly Income$4,478.75
CityDallas Household Median Yearly Income$52,580.00 Household Median Monthly Income$4,381.67
CityDenver Household Median Yearly Income$68,592.00 Household Median Monthly Income$5,716.00
CityDetroit Household Median Yearly Income$30,894.00 Household Median Monthly Income$2,574.50
CityEl Paso Household Median Yearly Income$47,568.00 Household Median Monthly Income$3,964.00
CityFort Worth Household Median Yearly Income$62,187.00 Household Median Monthly Income$5,182.25
CityHouston Household Median Yearly Income$52,338.00 Household Median Monthly Income$4,361.50
CityIndianapolis Household Median Yearly Income$47,873.00 Household Median Monthly Income$3,989.42
CityJacksonville Household Median Yearly Income$54,701.00 Household Median Monthly Income$4,558.42
CityLos Angeles Household Median Yearly Income$62,142.00 Household Median Monthly Income$5,178.50
CityNashville Household Median Yearly Income$59,828.00 Household Median Monthly Income$4,985.67
CityNew York Household Median Yearly Income$63,998.00 Household Median Monthly Income$5,333.17
CityOklahoma Household Median Yearly Income$55,557.00 Household Median Monthly Income$4,629.75
CityPhiladelphia Household Median Yearly Income$32,818.00 Household Median Monthly Income$2,734.83
CityPhoenix Household Median Yearly Income$57,459.00 Household Median Monthly Income$4,788.25
CitySan Antonio Household Median Yearly Income$52,455.00 Household Median Monthly Income$4,371.25
CitySan Diego Household Median Yearly Income$79,673.00 Household Median Monthly Income$6,639.42
CitySan Francisco Household Median Yearly Income$112,449.00 Household Median Monthly Income$9,370.75
CitySan Jose Household Median Yearly Income$109,593.00 Household Median Monthly Income$9,132.75
CitySeattle Household Median Yearly Income$92,263.00 Household Median Monthly Income$7,688.58
CityWashington DC Household Median Yearly Income$86,420.00 Household Median Monthly Income$7,201.67


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