Houston vs. New York City: Rents & Costs of Living

Living in a big U.S. city can be exciting, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. While places like New York City are notorious for being costly, Houston sits at the other end of the spectrum—it’s one of the most affordable big cities in the nation. In fact, the average cost of living (COL) in Houston is about 2.5% lower than the average COL across the entire U.S.1

To show you just how affordable living in Houston is, here’s a side-by-side comparison of rent and general costs of living in Houston versus NYC.

Houston Rents vs. New York City Rents

On average, Houston rents are at least 50 percent cheaper than NYC rents.2 Here’s a look at the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in each city, broken down by neighborhood.


Average Rent3 NYC Average Rent4
Downtown $2,135 Brooklyn


River Oaks

$1,875 Financial District $3,330
Midtown $1,796 Tribeca


Medical Center

$1,562 Soho $3370
Montrose $1,795 Greenwich Village


Greater Heights $1,509 Battery Park


Houston vs. NYC: Cost of Living

Rent isn’t the only thing that’s cheaper in Houston! Day-to-day living costs are also far cheaper in Houston than in NYC, as show in the table below.5

Type of Living Expense

Houston Cost NYC Cost
Utilities $134


Internet $60


(for one)

$30 $53

Public Transportation
(one way)

$1.25 $2.75
Casual Clothing
(one outfit)


(mid-range for a 3-course meal)


(monthly, for 1 child)


While Houston is clearly a far more affordable place to live than NYC, renters in Houston can actually get cash back when they move into a new place! That’s because Apartment GURUS has a FREE, cash-back offer for renters who work with us to find an apartment and sign a lease.

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1: According to these findings

2: According to this data

3: According to this source

4: According to this data

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