The “tax” varies widely depending on the market with renters in expensive markets, such as New York City paying up to $19,500 more in rent annually.

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For single renters, living alone can be costly.

Single renters pay a “singles tax” of nearly $7,000 yearly if they live alone, according to a study released Monday by Zillow.

Zillow found the “singles tax,” by calculating the annual amount that one person would pay in rent and dividing it in half, which is the additional amount singles pay when their rent is not split with a roommate.

That “tax” varies widely depending on the market with renters in bigger expensive markets, such as New York City paying up to $19,500 more in rent annually than someone living with a partner in the same city.

Singles in Manhattan pay the highest singles tax at nearly $24,000, with San Francisco following at $14,000, according to the report.


Single renters who live without roommates in the Midwestern metros of Detroit and Cleveland pay the lowest singles taxes at $4,483 and $4,387 respectively, Zillow found.

Renters who live with roommates or a partner save a collective $14,000 annually compared to renters who live alone, according to the report. In cities where housing is more expensive, they stand to save even more with cohabitating renters saving up to $39,000 in New York City.

Rental price increases hit a fever pitch during 2022 as would-be homeowners were priced out of homeownership by steep mortgage rate increases, putting further pressure on the rental market. Price growth has since slowed, with January posting a 2 percent annual rent price increase nationally, the smallest increase since May 2021, according to a Redfin report.

“Living alone has its perks — you never have to share a bathroom, you have a claim to the TV at all times, and dirty dishes can stack up as long as you want, judgment free. But all that freedom comes with a cost,” says Amanda Pendleton, Zillow home trends expert. “Even though rent prices are starting to cool, they are still significantly higher than they were a year ago. Renters considering going solo this year must decide how valuable living alone is to them, and if the cost is worth it.”

Email Ben Verde

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