Memphis is one of the most unique cities in the South. From the excitement surrounding Grizzlies basketball to the oversized beers and screaming blues guitars of Beale Street, the Bluff City has its own feel, a deep-rooted history, and a distinct culture. It’s the place where the defining moments of the civil rights movement took shape, and groundbreaking musicians like Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash rocked the world despite humble beginnings.
Today, Memphis celebrates its past while marching towards a bright future, reviving many historic neighborhoods, and home to several Fortune 500 companies and an ever-expanding business sector. There is an opportunity here for those who want to scramble for it, and the city is growing accordingly.
One of the best things about Memphis is that many of its more popular neighborhoods aren’t the most expensive. Although these areas are in high demand, the level of accessibility is always high, which means that there is a good chance that you can enter the neighborhood that perfectly matches your lifestyle.
What’s the average rent in Memphis?
The average rent for a bedroom in Memphis is $ 988, which is a 6.44% increase from last year. In comparison, the national average is $ 1,589, 61% more than in Memphis. The national average rent for a bedroom has also only increased by 1.8% in 2020, so if the rent in Memphis is well below average, it is increasing faster.
As in most countries, rent in Memphis has gone up over the past year. And in the south, the larger the unit, the larger the rent increase. For example, one-bedroom rent rose 4.5%, while three-bedroom units grew almost twice as fast, at 8.1%. This reflects a growing demand for larger units as seen across the country – Tennessee included.
How much do i need to earn to live in Memphis?
Here’s a handy planning tip: Experts recommend spending no more than 30% of your pre-tax income on housing. At $ 988 per month, the average one-bedroom tenant in Memphis will spend $ 11,856 per year on housing. That means you’ll need to earn around $ 39,520 on average to live comfortably in Memphis.
We can also calculate it at extremes. For the more expensive neighborhoods in Memphis, you would ideally want to earn at least $ 66,520. For the cheapest, you’ll be covered with at least $ 20,680.
You can use our handy rent calculator to plan your rent range based on city and income level.
The cost of living in Memphis
Memphis has long been known for its low cost of living, which goes well beyond housing costs. Fortunately, this applies to the entire city, from inner-city neighborhoods to the suburbs and beyond.
If you are planning to relocate to Memphis and are planning your budget, be sure to factor in costs beyond housing – there are many other areas you could save money on, depending on where you are from. move out.
Overall, the cost of living in Memphis is 12.7% lower than the national average. Here’s how it all breaks down:
- Housing: The cost of housing in Memphis is 20.7% lower than the national average.
- Health care: The cost of health care in Memphis is 16.5% lower than the national average.
- Transport: The cost of transportation in Memphis is 14.9% lower than the national average.
- Utilities: The cost of utilities in Memphis is 10.6% lower than the national average.
- Groceries: The cost of groceries in Memphis is 10.1% lower than the national average.
- Miscellaneous goods and services: The cost of miscellaneous goods and services in Memphis is 7% lower than the national average.
Most and cheapest neighborhoods in Memphis
Memphis’s more expensive neighborhoods vary in atmosphere and style, from quiet enclaves filled with unique historic homes to urban blocks filled with skyscrapers. Whether you want something close to the city’s largest university (University of Memphis), easy access to the beautiful biking and hiking trails of the massive Shelby Farms Park, or want to dance the night away at the downtown in a warm place, there is a neighborhood for you.
Most of the more expensive neighborhoods in Memphis are near the inner city and downtown areas, including the areas in Memphis with the fastest growing rents.
On average, the highest bedroom rent for a bedroom is in the historic Evergreen district ($ 1,663), and it grows at a year-over-year rate of 5.4%. The Core ($ 1,506) and East Buntyn ($ 1,343) are also found in the high end.
On the cheaper side, we have Whitehaven with an average rent for a bedroom of $ 517 per month, North Parkway Village at $ 524, and Southeast Memphis at $ 532.
The most expensive neighborhoods in Memphis
The most expensive area in Memphis is the Historic Evergreen District, which is part of what is commonly referred to as Midtown. Evergreen is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and features an eclectic mix of new and historic homes.
This is due in part to attempts years ago to split the neighborhood (as well as Overton Park) in half to make way for Interstate 40, an effort residents fought. The case eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, where the residents of Evergreen prevailed.
Like several other neighborhoods in this region, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The average rent in Evergreen is $ 1,663 per month, and it has increased 5.4%. Here you will find all types of rental properties as well as easy access to many of Midtown Memphis’ beloved businesses.
“The Core” refers to downtown Memphis, which stretches from Peabody Place North to Interstate 40 and east to 4th Avenue. This includes the area around Peabody Memphis and AutoZone Park, Chickasaw Bluffs along the Wolf River Harbor and down to the Mud Island Bridge, a significant part of the downtown area populated mostly with businesses.
The residences are virtually all apartment buildings and condos with easy access to downtown attractions on foot or by bike. The average rent decreases slightly from year to year in this sector.
The inclusion of East Buntyn in this list may surprise locals, but it makes perfect sense. Nestled between the University of Memphis and the Memphis Country Club, East Buntyn contains part of the Highland Strip and the area immediately to the east. The average rent for a bedroom is $ 1,343 per month, down 3.07% in 2020. It is also a short drive from the popular Cooper-Young area, Overton Square and other schools (including Christian Brothers University and Rhodes College).
* May not be a true representation of the market due to insufficient inventory
The cheapest neighborhoods in Memphis
The three cheapest neighborhoods in Memphis are all in the southern part of the city. Whitehaven, tucked away along the city’s border with the Mississippi, has an average rent for a bedroom of just $ 517 per month. The neighborhood is probably the best known for housing Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home for two decades, starting in 1957. Whitehaven hosts Elvis week, one of Memphis’s biggest tourist events. Residents also enjoy the perks of being close to Southland Mall, the area’s shopping center, and David Carnes Park, which includes everything from a playground and picnic play facilities and amenities of fitness.
East of Memphis International Airport is North Parkway Village, where rent is only $ 524 on average. North Parkway Village (and its neighbor, Parkway Village) transformed in the 1950s when developers replaced farmland with comfortable suburban homes.
In the 1980s, crime rates started to rise and property values fell. But as a result, housing is offered at extremely competitive prices for both renters and buyers. Today, the neighborhood is also home to several popular apartment complexes, offering a range of options for those interested in the area. North Parkway Village is also conveniently located near many amenities along bustling Poplar Avenue, including the pleasant Sea Isle Park, popular with families and pet owners, given its extensive dog park.
In Southeast Memphis, the average rent for a bedroom is $ 532 per month. This area includes communities north of Interstate 240, stretching as far north as Cooper-Young and the Midtown area. It’s a stone’s throw from much of Memphis’s best music history, especially where Stax registers east (which is technically part of neighboring Memphis south). It is also ideally located for those who want to be near LeMoyne-Owen College.
While this area has experienced economic depression and crime problems for decades, exciting things are happening to revitalize and uplift the community. It also offers easy access to some of Memphis’ best food, from the Interstate BBQ to the Four Way.
Average rental prices in Memphis neighborhoods
Whatever price range you are looking for, Memphis has options for you. See the table below to compare average rental rates.
* May not be a true representation of the market due to insufficient inventory
Find your Memphis neighborhood
There is no place like Memphis. Residents proudly embrace the city’s “hard-hitting” attitude, and the city is teeming with culture and history. It feels quintessentially southern yet different from anywhere else in the south, all at the same time. Its unique vibe (not to mention the unbeatable music and food) makes it a game for many. Find out what Memphis has to offer now. You never know – you might just find a perfect new rental for you.
Rental prices are based on a moving weighted average of Rent.com’s Apartment Guide and Multi-Family Rental Inventory for one-bedroom apartments. The data was pulled in February 2021 and goes back a year. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents the price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rental prices in specific markets.
Neighborhoods with insufficient inventory were excluded.
Data on the cost of living come from the Community and Economic Research Council.
The rental information included in this article is used for illustration purposes only. The data contained in this document does not constitute financial advice or a price guarantee for any apartment.