Hamilton rents named second-lowest among Ohio’s larger cities in new study

The Marcum Apartments showed this a two-bedroom model when the residential/retail building opened during 2018 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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The Marcum Apartments showed this a two-bedroom model when the residential/retail building opened during 2018 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Apartment rental rates in Hamilton are second-lowest among Ohio’s larger cities, while those in Cincinnati are eighth-lowest, a study by rent.com found.

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Butler County seat was $699, based on multifamily apartment inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of April. That was 4.1 percent higher than April 2020.

By comparison, the average one-bedroom apartment in Cincinnati rented for $967, down 10.1 percent from April 2020.

The Ohio average among the cities for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,219, which was up 12.3 percent from last year.

In Youngstown, the least expensive city, rents were $623, down 21.7 percent from a year earlier. Other cities with lower rents were No. 3 Toledo, $762; No. 4 Akron, $780; with the rest in Northeast Ohio.

Eric Vincent, president of the Butler County Real Estate Investors Association, wasn’t sure how accurate the averages were, partly because the number of single-bedrooms evaluated could be small.

For that reason, “Those type of numbers, I don’t really get excited about them,” he said.

“My rents are based on what I can get,” he said. “But most of the folks I know are not trying to push the envelope.”

“I can get $1,000 for a one-bedroom, but how often am I going to churn that over?” he said. “Or, I can get $695 for a one-bedroom, and not turn it over for five years. I’m going to make a lot more money on that $695 for five years than I will for $1,000, because it’s going to take a long time to find that person to fit the bill for that particular apartment, so it’s going to be a lot more often.”

Also, average incomes have a lot to do with rental rates, Vincent said: “If the average income is low in Hamilton, then my rents are probably going to be low, because nobody’s going to be able to afford more than that.”

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The state’s highest rental rates were in No. 5 Cleveland or its suburbs; No. 7 Columbus or its suburbs; as well as No. 5 Mason, ($1,392 with rates down 2.8 percent); and No. 9 Miamisburg ($1,167, rates unchanged).

“There was no available inventory in Middletown and Oxford at this time.” said Rent.com Managing Editor Brian Carberry. “Fairfield and Lebanon did have inventory, but they fell below the minimum threshold we used so they were excluded.”

Cities are excluded if they have insufficient inventory “because they may not be a true market representation,” Carberry said. “Keeping this in mind, one-bedroom rates in Fairfield averaged $1,110, and Lebanon averaged $709.”

Hamilton has seen a relative boom in apartment construction, with The Marcum apartments downtown; others at the Third + Dayton complex, where Ohio Casualty used to have its offices; and dozens of apartments recently opened or planned along Main Street; as well as some new senior-citizen housing.

Asked about Hamilton’s rental rates, Carberry said, “Rent prices in this area appear to be relatively stable in terms of year-over-year change. I think these rates appear to be very affordable and reasonable compared to both the state and national averages.”

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Jim Cohen of CMC Properties has released a concept drawing of what his approximately 80-unit apartment building, with four retail spaces, in the 300 block of Main Street, may look like. It may change because the design is not final. PROVIDED

Jim Cohen of CMC Properties has released a concept drawing of what his approximately 80-unit apartment building, with four retail spaces, in the 300 block of Main Street, may look like. It may change because the design is not final. PROVIDED

Combined ShapeCaption
Jim Cohen of CMC Properties has released a concept drawing of what his approximately 80-unit apartment building, with four retail spaces, in the 300 block of Main Street, may look like. It may change because the design is not final. PROVIDED

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