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City Guide
We're Not Formulaic, We're Indy

Indianapolis is an enigma. Naptown, Indianoplace, and references by Baltimorians too unsavory for this site are all used as paramount putdowns about a city thought to be blander and more uninspired than powdered water. But Indianapolis is the capital city to movies set in the Hoosier State such as Hoosiers, Breaking Away, and Rudy (if ever you've wanted to see a grown man quiver and cry with joy rent these, you'll see). Plus, at certain times of the year, Indy becomes as frenetic as any city on earth; like its New Years, Mardi Gras, Fourth of July, and Robert Isray Appreciation Day all rolled into one.

Indianapolis is a city most largely defined by its sports and the banter and camaraderie that always accompany such a potent cultural bond. Beyond this though, ten Fortune 1000 companies within the city limits mean that the Indianapolis employment picture is decent (sorry, the Colts aren't hiring quarterbacks).

We may not have the Statue of Liberty, but we have a racetrack and we're affordable

Indianapolis is in the shallow end of the pool of monthly rent and it's easy to wade in and out. The most expensive 1 BR apartment in Indianapolis welcomes you at under $1,300 per month. The other Indianapolis neighborhoods, all within easy reach of one another, average around $700 for a one bedroom, $850 for a two bedroom, and $1,000 for a three bedroom. If you've ever lived in NYC, LA, SFO, or any other city recognizable solely from its initials, you're going to have a lot of extra funds each month for all the tenderloin sandwiches and Sun Kings.

Basketball, A Grand Canal, 50,000 students, that little race, and was basketball mentioned yet?

Like every major city, there is shopping, art, colleges, parks, culture, sport, and pockets of divine dining. Indianapolis is marginally more compact in these regards, but no different. Well, no different except for the high school hoops fanaticism and the refurbished remnant of a failed waterways experiment - the Grand Canal - complete with gondolas. Let us explore the apartment scene of the Venice of the Midwest.

Downtown: Home to most of Indy's popular attractions (Colts, Pacers, Symphony, the historically significant Hilbert Circle Theater, Circle Centre Shopping), burgeoning restaurant scene, and IUPUI, the downtown area/canal/wholesale district is the most "now" section of Indianapolis. It used to be the most "then." Not that long ago, much of downtown Indy was on the "strictly functional" side of architecture and vibe. As Indianapolis was the site of the world's first union train station, it was largely dominated by its sprawling network of railroad operations - sort of a proletarian and thuggish aura. Since 1995, nearly $700 million has been invested in chic buildings including some destination hotels. Many of the apartment complexes included recently renovated pool and gym areas, greatly increasing the livability of the area. Now the whole place vibes less Orwell's 1984 and more Prince's 1999. $1,300 for top-of-the line 1BR apartment with washer and dryer included. Plenty of high end 2BR apartments available for that price. $800 for a decent 1BR.

Broad Ripple: Youthful, fun, full of nightlife, proximity to the most tenacious NCAA team ever, the Butler Bulldogs, as well as David Letterman and Kurt Vonnegut, Broad Ripple is clever and relevant. Broad Ripple is about 6 miles north of downtown and its "we're open if you are" motto sums up a lot about the bohemian nature of the village. There're 50 restaurants, some of them family style places, within a 1/3 mile radius. It's clean with lots going on. Around $725 for a 1BR, $875 for a 2 BR.

Fountain Square: Just a couple miles southeast of downtown Indianapolis, Fountain Square is one of Indianapolis' six designated cultural districts. Fountain Square is the primary neighborhood for Indy's artists and galleries and is anchored by the (bubbling with Americana) diner/duckpin bowling alley. Around $500 for a 1BR - bungalows and lofts here too.

White River Area: A couple miles west of downtown you'll find White River State Park - America's only urban cultural park. Located in the same vicinity is the Indianapolis Zoo - the only such institution accredited as a zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden. More sedate and outdoorsy than most other Indianapolis neighborhoods, the White River area boasts lots of golf courses and easy access to the 65 and 465 if you're driving somewhere, and the racetrack for if you're driving somewhere really FAST. This is a great part of the city for pet friendly apartments, many of which include great access to dog parks.

East: Go East-Northeast from downtown Indianapolis for 10 miles or so, in the direction I-69 and/or I-465 and you'll find many cookie-cutter complexes. Respectable, with landscaped grounds, amenities, water features, and social events, these offer the least in terms of vibrancy, but the most in terms of commuting and a lot-for-a-little. Decent 1 BR apartments under $500, 2 BR under $700.

Indianapolis is known for cars, but what about mine?

Traffic is not much of a problem, there is reasonably priced parking downtown, and the public transportation system is easy enough but limited. Keep your car, but just make sure that your apartment community offers either a parking garage or assigned parking spaces.

Just the facts Manning

Downtown Indianapolis and its cultural districts do not feature many apartment complexes or highrises. Smaller, landlord owned (but not onsite) homes in the Cape Cod or Bungalow style are somewhat common rental options. As such, the terms are rather varied, with some tenant-at-will, some 6-month lease scenarios, some 15-month arrangements in more upscale residences, and, of course, lots in between. Pets are widely accepted, even in the complexes, but pet deposits/pet rents may exist.

Plan about 5 times as well around Memorial Day (Indy 500) and end of July (Brickyard 400). Indianapolis gets insanely big and busy - not a good time to have the in-laws come in from Topeka.

Indianapolis trivia

Indianapolis, for its undeserved vanilla rep, does host the world’s most attended sporting event: the Indy 500 at which those seated, in pavilions, and tailgating can top 400,000, or 50% the size of the city itself. Say what you will about the societal contributions of racing, but that is an impressive feat considering there are just 32,000 total hotel rooms in the entire metropolitan region.

Rental Price Monitor
March 2015: Indiana Rental Price Monitor

Indiana vs. the US

In March, a 1 bedroom in Indiana averaged $520 and a 2 bedroom averaged $640. That makes Indiana the 2nd least expensive state in the US, with average 2 bedroom rents that are 36% below the national average.

In contrast to the national average rents, which show a growth of 2.5% since March 2014, rents in Indiana have dropped by 0.5%. And while national prices rose slightly from February to March, Indiana’s average price for a 2 bedroom was unchanged on a same-unit basis.

Top 10 Most Expensive Indiana Cities

  • Fishers was the most expensive city in Indiana in March. With an average 2 bedroom price of $1130, Fishers was the only city more expensive than the national average.
  • Bloomington came in a distant second with 2 bedrooms averaging $920 a month, which is 8% below the national average.
  • The most affordable Indiana City was South Bend, where a 2 bedroom averages just $550 a month. That’s $100 less than statewide averages and more than $400 cheaper than the national average.

Rent Growth in Top Indiana Cities

  • New Albany ($710) and Jeffersonville ($650) are two of the cities that saw growth in rent prices over March 2014, at 4.1% and 2.2% respectively.
  • Terre Haute was the most affordable Indiana city, with 1 bedrooms at only $400 per month and 2 bedrooms at $550, or 45% below the national average.

Top 10 Most Expensive Indianapolis Neighborhoods

  • The most expensive neighborhood in Indianapolis is Downtown Indianapolis, where available 2 bedrooms cost $1,310. That's 31% higher than the national average, but far cheaper than the most expensive neighborhoods in most large cities.
  • Castleton is the only other neighborhood where two bedroom rents exceed the national average, with the average rent coming in at $1170 in March.
  • Near Southeast is the cheapest Indianapolis neighborhood at just $450 for a 1 bedroom and $520 for a 2 bedroom.

Full Data:

City Median Price (1BR) M/M Change (1BR) Y/Y Change (1BR) Median Price (2BR) M/M Change (2BR) Y/Y Change (2 BR)
Fishers $890 N/A N/A $1130 N/A N/A
Bloomington $630 -0.5% -2.3% $920 0.5% -6.1%
Noblesville $760 N/A N/A $840 N/A N/A
Greenwood $670 -0.4% -1.5% $800 -1.5% -5.5%
Sellersburg N/A N/A N/A $740 N/A N/A
Mishawaka $850 -4.1% -2.8% $730 0.3% -2.6%
New Albany $580 -1.4% 3.0% $710 1.0% 4.1%
Plainfield $570 N/A N/A $710 0.0% 0.3%
Jeffersonville $560 0.3% 4.5% $650 0.0% 2.2%
Indianapolis $530 0.3% 0.3% $630 -0.1% -1.6%
Clarksville $570 -0.2% 4.4% $600 0.1% 2.6%
South Bend $520 2.8% 3.8% $600 0.1% 1.1%
Terre Haute $400 N/A N/A $550 -1.6% -0.9%
Neighborhood Median Price (2BR)
Downtown Indianapolis $1310
Castleton $1170
Butler - Tarkington $910
Nora - Far Northside $830
Hill Valley $790
Near Northside $780
St Vincent - Greenbriar $770
South Perry $770
Key Meadows $750
Marian - Cold Springs $690
East Gate $680
Irvington $680
Fairgrounds $650
Chapel Hill - Ben Davis $650
North High School $640
Near Southside $640
Broad Ripple $630
Devington $600
Mars Hill $590
Meadows $590
Near Eastside $580
Eagledale $580
Eastside $580
Mapleton - Fall Creek $560
Near Westside $560
Martindale - Brightwood $550
Near Northwest - Riverside $550
Near Southeast $520


Apartment List RPM data is drawn from several hundred thousand monthly listings on our site. All average prices are calculated as the median for the specified size and time period. For top city rankings, we calculated median 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom rents in 100 top cities and then ranked them by 2 bedroom rents. Price changes are calculated using a “same unit” methodology similar to the Case-Shiller “repeat sales” home prices methodology, and averages are not value weighted.