The Most Expensive ZIP Codes for Renters

Brooklyn Bridge And Manhattan Night View

By Christine DiGangi

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.

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. You'd likely have to agree to a credit check, too, which can be a significant obstacle when there's high demand for rentals. Having the ability to pay the rent is huge, but checking your credit to make sure you're an attractive tenant is important, as well, no matter where you live. You can see two of your credit scores for free each month on to get a sense of where you stand.

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. In that case, congrats on having oodles of money (or living near people who do.) ZIP Codes are in New York City unless otherwise noted.

20. 90405
Includes Ocean Park and Sunset Park neighborhoods in Santa Monica, Calif.
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

Want to see which ZIP codes crack the top 10? Check out the full list on

Originally published