Claiborne Crossing apartments.
Louisville has a large and varied assortment of rental options. Here you see the high-end units of Claiborne Crossing off Old Henry Road.

The Internet is alive with data. Some useful, some useless — and all manner of stuff in between.

Part of what I find so fascinating about real estate is that identifying the useful sources and following them over time leads to some very worthwhile results. Data leads to information, which leads to insight.

A question I receive quite often from clients outside of Louisville is, “Can you help me find a place to rent?” Simple and straight-forward, and I don’t mind it one bit.

But as it turns out, Louisville isn’t a town where agents are actively helping people find rental units. This is not San Francisco, D.C. or Selling New York. In cities like these, rental rates are so high there’s a market for professionals to actually specialize in helping people find short-, medium- and long-term rental options.

Louisville is not one of those cities.

So where does Louisville land in the rankings of most expensive cities for rent? Before we get to that, let’s check out the Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Renters according to zumper.com, a website dedicated to helping people find places to rent. These rates are for a single-bedroom apartment in April 2016.

  1. San Francisco, Calif. – $3,590
  2. New York, N.Y. – $3,340
  3. Boston, Mass. – $2,310
  4. Oakland, Calif. – $2,280
  5. San Jose, Calif. – $2,270
  6. Washington, D.C. – $2,200
  7. Los Angeles, Calif. – $1,970
  8. Miami, Fla. – $1,900
  9. Chicago, Il. – $1,790
  10. Seattle, Wash. – $1,750

Now, these are the one-bedroom medians, to say nothing of the average prices that are higher. And we haven’t started looking at two- or three-bedroom units. Talk about your pricey real estate.

For the sake of comparison, the median one-bedroom for Louisville is $690. Good enough for a No. 39 national ranking. The two-bedroom median Louisville is currently $800.

It’s interesting to see that Louisville dropped four spots from the previous month, perhaps due to all the new apartment construction that has been taking place in the past year.

Year over year, both metrics are down more than 10 percent! That would seem to indicate that we have too many rental units in our city. Investors and developers should take note with so many new projects underway. Insider has recently touched on this topic here, here and here.

Let’s take a look and see how Louisville compares to our regional rivals.

Median Rental Rates for April, 2016

1 Bedroom2 Bedrooms
Nashville, TN$950$1,150
Louisville, KY$690$800
Memphis, TN$590$690
Columbus, OH$590$850
Indianapolis, IN$560$650

So while Louisville rental rates are higher than all but Nashville, they aren’t that far apart.

The other phenomenon that I see taking place here in Louisville is that the vast majority of rental units are located within apartment complexes. I can’t find the exact breakdown, as that variable doesn’t seem to be tracked by the major outlets. (If anyone knows a source, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee from your favorite shop.)

Given that rental houses are more rare, they have greatly elevated rates compared to apartment options. Given the current affordability of buying rather than renting, it’s no wonder sales are still increasing in 2016 even as housing inventory is dropping.

For those planning on selling their Louisville home, here is some expert advice on preparing your home for a quick sale.

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Tre Pryor
Tre Pryor is an Internet-veteran turned tech-savvy Louisville Realtor with ReMax Champions. Mr. Pryor is the recognized Louisville real estate expert writing for both InsiderLouisville.com and the #1 real estate blog in the city--LouisvilleHomesBlog.com. Most of all, Tre is a trustworthy professional who wants you to see your dreams fulfilled!