It’s no secret that California’s rental market is expensive, and although recent rental data points to moderate decline in prices, California apparently has not received the memo.

New data provided by Dwellsy, an online rental platform, found that rent prices dipped a bit in February, including a 1% decline among one-bedroom apartment rentals.

But rent in major cities, especially those in California, are still astonishingly high, despite the downward trend.

Dwellsy looked at the price of one-bedroom apartment rentals across the nation, to compile a list of the most expensive cities for renters. One-bedrooms were chosen as the baseline, because they have similar inventory as two-bedrooms, and are most price inclusive, thus more detailed data.

While the most expensive rentals are unsurprisingly in New York City, several California cities are not far behind.

San Francisco landed second on the costliest-rental list, with San Jose coming in at fourth and Los Angeles and San Diego taking the 6th and 7th spots, respectively.

All of the California cities on the list saw measurable increases in rental prices, save for San Diego which actually experienced a dip of 5.6% from last February.

Below is the list of the most expensive cities to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the nation:

RankMetropolitan Statistical AreaMedian One-Bedroom Apartment Asking Rent,
February 2023
Change Since February 2022
1New York, NY $         3,168+ 12.8%
2San Francisco, CA $         2,495+ 4.2%
3Boston, MA $         2,448+ 2.0%
4San Jose, CA $         2,380+ 7.4%
5Washington, DC $         2,053+ 0.3%
6Los Angeles, CA $         2,013+ 0.9%
7San Diego, CA $         1,958– 5.6%
8Riverside-San Bernardino, CA $         1,795+ 1.1%
9Honolulu, HI $         1,750+ 6.1%
10Seattle, WA $         1,745+ 3.9%

That table represents the price of renting in large cities in America, but the rental listing company also keeps tabs on smaller cities.

Again, California dominated the list with the largest cities in Santa Barbara County capturing the top spot, driven by the incredibly high cost of living in Santa Barbara proper.

Four additional California cities made the list, including the major cities of Ventura County.

RankMetropolitan Statistical AreaMedian One-Bedroom Apartment February 2023 Asking RentChange Since February 2022
1Santa Barbara-Santa Maria- Goleta, CA $         2,186+ 1.7%
2Ithaca, NY $         2,003+ 52.6%
3Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $         1,889+ 11.1%
4Salinas, CA $         1,873+ 8.6%
5Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA $         1,850+ 6.6%
6Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $         1,825– 1.5%
7Poughkeepsie-Newburgh- Middletown, NY $         1,800+ 28.6%
8Burlington-South Burlington, VT $         1,775+ 31.5%
9Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA $         1,750+ 9.4%
10Bozeman, MT $         1,700+ 0.0%

Both tables are comprised of average rental asking price on Dwellsy. The company says that its dataset is the most robust among rental listing websites because landlords can list their openings free of charge.

While rental prices remain high in certain cities, and some even saw minor increases in February, Jonas Bordo, CEO and co-founder of Dwellsy, said the overall rental market is relatively stable and has seen a decline in price over the last two years.

But those numbers reflect the reality of apartment dwellers. Families looking to rent a single-family home in California’s major metropolitan areas are feeling a squeeze. In December, Dwellsy reported that single-family home rentals in California were up 30% compared to the previous year.

Prices for single-family home rentals surged “unexpectedly” by 7.4% in January, Bordo said, before dipping slightly by about 1% in February.

Among major cities in America, Los Angeles tops the list for costly single-family home rentals, clocking in at $4,000 per month on a median three-bedroom rental in February. California again dominated the lists of the most expensive cities, both big and small.

Bordo said he expects rental prices for apartments to “stay fairly flat,” and added that, while single-family rentals will likely always be high, there is optimism that “steadily rising prices of the past two years might finally become flatter.”