With average housing costs adding up to almost 35% of all household expenditures in 2020, many renters nationwide are looking for roommates so they can afford short-term financial obligations, save for long-term financial goals or both. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset analyzed data to identify and rank cities according to where living with a roommate saves you most.
To find out where having a roommate will save you the most cash, we compared the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment to the average cost of splitting a two-bedroom apartment in 50 of the largest U.S. cities. For more details on how we found and analyzed our data, read the data and methodology section below.
This is SmartAsset’s eighth annual study on how much a roommate saves you. Read the 2021 version here.
- Savings are up. The 2021 edition of this study showed that living with a roommate would net you an average savings of $493. This year, that savings has increased to $517. But this is still slightly less than the average savings in 2020, which was $524.
- Roommates save most in big cities. Big cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco claim the top three spots on this list. Roommates in these cities can save over $800 per month.
Where a Roommate Saves You the Most
1. New York, NY
New York City reclaims the top spot in 2022, with the monthly savings for a roommate averaging $1,334. This adds up to a sizable $16,008 annually.
2. Boston, MA
A one-bedroom in Boston will run you $2,376 on average, while half of a two-bedroom costs just $1,393. That’s a monthly savings of $983, which adds up to $11,800 annually.
3. San Francisco, CA
Getting a roommate in San Francisco will save you an average of $867 per month. A one-bedroom rent costs $2,732 on average and a two-bedroom averages $3,731. The total savings adds up to $10,399 per year.
4. San Jose, CA
San Jose is a major hub for tech workers. Roommates sharing a two-bedroom will end up paying $1,369 on average instead of $2,201. That’s monthly savings of $832, which adds up to $9,982 per year.
5. Oakland, CA
Oakland is more affordable than some Bay Area cities, but it’s still pricey. Getting a roommate can save you $701 per month, which adds up to a total of $8,412 per year.
Where a Roommate Saves You the Least
1. Wichita, KA
Renting a one-bedroom in Wichita will only run you around $612 a month, while splitting a two-bedroom costs $386 per person on average. That’s a savings of $226 per month, which adds up to $2,710 per year.
2. Tulsa, OK
In Tulsa, you can save $268 per month by getting a roommate, which adds up to $3,222 per year. A one-bedroom in Tulsa averages $717 in monthly rent, while a two-bedroom costs $897.
3. Tucson, AZ
A one-bedroom in Tucson will cost you $810 per month 0n average. Splitting a two-bedroom will average $530 per person. That’s savings of $279 per month, which adds up to $3,349 for the year.
4. El Paso, TX
The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom in El Paso is $758. But splitting a two-bedroom will cost you only $469 on average. That’s savings of $289 per month, which adds up to $3,471 annually.
5. Albuquerque, NM
Roommates sharing a two-bedroom will save $297 per month, which adds up to $3,561 annually. A one-bedroom averages $813 in monthly rent, while a two-bedroom costs $1,032.
Data and Methodology
To find the cities where a roommate saves you the most, SmartAsset examined data from 50 of the largest U.S. cities. We compared them across these two metrics:
- Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment. Data comes from Zumper and covers monthly rent prices from February 2021 through January 2022.
- Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Data comes from Zumper and covers monthly rent prices from February 2021 through January 2022.
Using this data, we measured how much a person could save in each city by moving from a one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom apartment. To do this, we compared the cost of a one-bedroom to half the cost of a two-bedroom for each city, to account for living with a roommate. We ranked the cities according to where the savings were the largest.
Tips for Saving Money on Housing
- Thinking of buying a place? For renters with roommates who are looking to make the leap to homeownership, knowing exactly how buying compares over time is the first step. SmartAsset’s free rent vs. buy calculator can help. It compares the costs of renting and buying, showing at what point buying may pay off.
- A financial advisor can help you reach your housing goals. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Questions about our study? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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