How Much Will an Extra Bedroom Cost You in Rent?

It’s become increasingly clear over the past year that remote work is not going to fade away when the pandemic does. A survey of 20,000 ...


It’s become increasingly clear over the past year that remote work is not going to fade away when the pandemic does. A survey of 20,000 renters conducted by RentCafé this May found that a third of respondents were working from home and expected to continue, either fully or partially.

Among respondents expecting to continue remote work, 75 percent said they didn’t have a separate room to work from, instead making use of bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and even closets. A third said they were looking to upgrade to a place with an extra room.

But how much will that cost? Among the 100 largest U.S. cities, the additional rent needed for another room ranged from 11 percent (or $131) in Stockton, Calif., to a whopping 43 percent (or $1,532) in Manhattan. (To prevent skewing the data in New York City, where rents vary widely, each borough was considered independently.) The national average increase was 24 percent, no matter the size of the current apartment.

One note of encouragement to those concerned about the extra cost of a rental with more rooms: The money saved on commuting when working from home, it was found, could cover much of the cost of sizing up. (On average, $417 was spent on commuting, while an extra room increased costs by $337.)

This week’s chart, based on the RentCafé data, shows which of the largest 100 U.S. cities had the smallest and greatest percentage increases in rent when sizing up to a place with an additional bedroom.

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