Top 10 cheapest U.S. cities to rent an apartment

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    (MoneyWatch) Looking for an affordable place to rent an apartment? Head to the Midwest.

    Of the 10 cheapest places to rent an apartment across the country, nine are located in the nation's midlands, according to data compiled by, an apartment search service.

    Rent prices across the country average about $1,231 each month, but the median rents in these more affordable places are about half that.

    In these cities, if you're shelling out $1,200 a month in rent, you're getting a luxury condominium downtown or a lakeside, three-bedroom home with a backyard and a garage.

    A high-end, one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with nearly 800 square feet of living space in the heart of Kansas City, Mo., will run about $1,000 per month, while the same kind of space in San Diego -- the 10th-most-expensive city to rent an apartment in the country -- will cost you around $1,700.

    Pricey rents in cities like San Diego are being driven by high demand and low supply. But for these 10 most affordable cities, it's the exact opposite scenario. Leasing agents and landlords are hunting down potential renters and trying to wheel them in with updates and perks, said CEO John Kobs.

    The median rents in these 10 cities range from $623 to $730 -- that's a far cry from the nearly $4,000 median rent rate for apartments in San Francisco, which has the distinction of being the most expensive place to rent in the country.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.