Comparing Austin & Houston Rent Costs: Downtown versus Suburb Rent Prices

In major cities across the nation, you can expect to pay more for rent prices in the downtown area versus the suburbs. In fact, downtown rent prices are generally about 28% higher than suburb rent prices—and this trend shows no signs of stopping.1

In Texas, Austin and Houston are undeniable examples of this trend. That’s because on average:

  • Downtown Austin rent prices are just about double the rent prices found in surrounding Austin areas.
  • Downtown Houston rent prices are around 36% higher than rent prices in nearby Houston regions.

Here’s a closer look at what’s playing a role in causing this trend—and what you need to know when you’re on the hunt for an apartment in Austin or Houston.

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Austin Downtown Rent Prices versus Houston Downtown Rent Prices: A Comparison

So, how much does it cost to rent in Downtown Austin versus Downtown Houston? And how much money can you save on rent if you choose to move to an area outside of either city’s downtown area?

This table highlights the latest findings1 about downtown rent prices in Austin and Houston when compared to the average rent prices in the area.


Downtown  Rent Market Average Rent







Downtown rent prices in both cities are clearly higher—and there are some good reasons for this. Namely, both the Houston and Austin downtown areas command higher rents because these areas are:

  1. Economic centers: Downtown Houston and Austin serve as central business districts, where businesses and jobs abound. In both regions, the downtown area boasts a high percentage of banks, restaurants, offices, retail stores, and more.
  2. Cultural and social hubs: Beyond economics, Downtown Austin and Houston offer cultural appeal. From food and music to museums, festivals, and much more, these areas are home to various cultural attractions and festivities, some of which attract people from across the U.S.

Why Are Austin Downtown Rent Prices So Much Higher?

According to the experts, Downtown Austin rent prices are among the highest, when compared to other areas of Austin and any area of Houston, because:

  • Austin has become an increasingly desirable place to live.
  • There’s only one route into Austin (Interstate 35), making Downtown living especially attractive to those who want to avoid a commute or who don’t have a vehicle.
  • Austin’s metro can be inconvenient, once again pointing to the issues of commuting and the time it takes for people to get to Downtown from other regions.
  • Downtown Houston, which is far more spread out than Downtown Austin, has more options for rentals and commuting, creating more competition for viable apartments and driving the prices down.

Austin & Houston Rent Prices: The Good News

When it comes to renting in or outside of Downtown Austin or Downtown Houston, here’s the good news:

  • Rent prices are not fixed: They can vary with the seasons, dropping in the offseason or falling when new apartments are built nearby, for example. And there’s no shortage of new apartments going up in both Downtown Austin and Downtown Houston.
  • Paying more to rent in the downtown area may actually save you money: If you work in or regularly travel to the downtown area, the higher rent you pay to live there can save you time and money in the long run when it comes to commuting on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Many luxury apartments in Downtown Houston and Downtown Austin offer excellent move-in deals: In fact, many luxury apartments have leasing specials, like reduced or no rent for one or more months, referral incentives, and more. These deals can provide great savings that may make it worthwhile to lease in the downtown area.
  • You CAN get FREE help finding the perfect apartment for your budget and needs: Whether you’re searching in Austin or Houston, in the downtown area or somewhere else, Apartment GURUs can help you find the apartment of your dreams! We can help you pinpoint your best options, based on your budget and exact search criteria, sending listings right to your inbox.

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With Apartment GURUS, it’s easier than ever to find the perfect apartment in Austin, Houston, or anywhere in Texas! No matter what city or neighborhood you have your eye on, we’ll send you the best listings—and we’ll split our commission with you when you sign a lease!

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Apartment GURUS has been a go-to resource for Texas apartment hunters for more than 10 years. We provide top inventory options backed by excellent service. Check out our exceptional reviews to see how we’ve helped thousands of others in their apartment searches – and how our program can benefit you!

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