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148 Apartments for rent in Milwaukee, WI

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Last updated April 20 at 2:51am UTC
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City Guide
Wauk-specific Q&A

What’s the deal with Polish flats? Milwaukee has a rich history of Polish immigration throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. These immigrants often built single-family homes with faux-Gothic or Victorian facades—then added onto these original structures to accommodate their growing families and finances. The two portions of the houses remained segregated; so Polish flats are now typically rented out as duplexes. Note that these units usually have smaller bedrooms, a fact that qualifies them as model apartments for the descriptors “historic” and “economical.”

I hear utilities are outrageous…?

Let’s face it: MKE gets flippin’ cold in the wintertime. If you fancy eating your breakfast cereal in a sauna, then hunt down those (not uncommon) units that offer heat and other utilities included. On the other hand, if you’re not made of platinum, get on the current fashion bandwagon and start sporting those wool sweaters indoors!

Are there any landlords/property management companies I should avoid?

MKE has its fair share of disreputable landlords (“slumlords,” might we say?) and apartment managers. Let it suffice that not all property management companies in Brew City are created equal. In fact, some are especially toxic—be sure to check out for some real reviews to help make an informed decision.

To the Left, To the Left…

Orientation is easy in the water-bounded cities of the Great Lakes. For Milwaukee, just look up (North Side), down (South Side), or to the left (West Side). Oh, wait—there’s also Downtown, a narrow strip between the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, and the East Side, anything north of Downtown, east of I-43, and south of, say, E. Capitol Drive. Phew! It’s time to flesh some of these areas out.

Downtown: “Downtown” Milwaukee typically refers to the CBD region north of the freeway in which the Pabst Theatre, Cathedral Park, and the School of Engineering (MSOE) lie. This region extends east to the lake, where you’ll find luxury 2BR condos for over $3000/month next to all-inclusive studios for $785/month. (Apparently, the consumer profile for Downtown Milwaukeeans is manifold.) South of the freeway—and technically still “downtown,” is the Historic Third Ward, an upscale, artsy, LGBT-friendly district. Third Ward apartments are only slightly more affordable than Downtown’s: expect to pay at least a hundo per month for a 1BR (studio, loft, whatever), and over $2000/month for a 2BR. Apartment contracts in Downtown and Third Ward generally include heating.

East Side: The East Side winds north along the river through districts called Brady Street (a.k.a., “Little Italy”), Brewer’s Hill, Murray Hill, Riverwest, and Upper East Side. The closer-in areas are generally more expensive, further out being both studenty (due to UMW’s presence). Riverwest is the pick for hip, grungy folks: heaps of Polish flats in this neighborhood make it the inexpensive option (you’ll frequently see 1BRs for under $500/month and 2BRs for around $700/month). Lakefront studios around Brady Street run for $875/month; 1BRs for $1125/month.

West Side: Marquette is the first major neighborhood one meets when leaving Downtown for the West Side. Apartments in this area are suited to students: studios and 1BRs hover around $500/month and sometimes include utilities. 2BRs usually jump up to $1000/month. Cold Spring Park and its further afield neighbor, Washington Heights, are surburbany alternatives to real suburbia. These areas are popular with commuters to Downtown (7-8 minutes in a car; longer on an MCTS bus). Sure, there are lots of cute gelato shops, but if you’re not planning on renovating a Victorian home, you might find the lifestyle out here lacking. Not many 1BRs in these areas; instead, expect to pay around $700/month for a 2BR flat in Washington Heights.

South Side: Heading south, one notices a significant increase in taquerías per city block. If you’re like me, that’s all the more reason to consider it. Bay View, historically a company town for the mill, now hosts an annual parade as well as the perfect blend of practical professionals and bohemian youngsters. Commute time from this little hipster’s paradise is only 10-15 minutes to the CBD. Plenty of 1BR lofts (circa $650/month) and 2BR Polish flats ($750/month) make it obvious why this area is so popular. The only other South Side neighborhood you ought to know about is Walker’s Point (a.k.a., the 5th Ward). This is a closer-in, LGBT-friendly area. Expect more condos and lofts than historic flats: 1BRs start at $700/month and go up from there.

Got your bearings? Fabulous. Start hittin’ the streets and calling landlords. Just remember to bring a valid photo ID, some paperwork proving a source of income, and the willingness to commit to a 6-month lease (sometimes longer). Oh, and don’t ask why they call it Deutsch-Athen. Nobody knows.

Rent Report

April 2018 Milwaukee Rent Report

Welcome to the April 2018 Milwaukee Rent Report. Milwaukee rents remained steady over the past month. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the Milwaukee rental market, including comparisons to similar cities nationwide.

Milwaukee rents held steady over the past month

Milwaukee rents have remained steady over the past month, but are down moderately by 0.7% year-over-year. Currently, median rents in Milwaukee stand at $710 for a one-bedroom apartment and $880 for a two-bedroom. Milwaukee's year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 0.6%, as well as the national average of 2.0%.

Milwaukee rents more affordable than many comparable cities nationwide

As rents have fallen moderately in Milwaukee, many similar cities nationwide have seen prices increase, in some cases substantially. Milwaukee is also more affordable than most other large cities across the country.

  • Milwaukee's median two-bedroom rent of $880 is below the national average of $1,170. Nationwide, rents have grown by 2.0% over the past year compared to the 0.7% decline in Milwaukee.
  • While rents in Milwaukee fell moderately over the past year, many cities nationwide saw increases, including Phoenix (+2.9%), Atlanta (+2.2%), and Denver (+1.9%).
  • Renters will find more reasonable prices in Milwaukee than most similar cities. For example, San Francisco has a median 2BR rent of $3,060, which is nearly three-and-a-half times the price in Milwaukee.

For more information check out our national report. You can also access our full data for cities and counties across the U.S. at this link.

Methodology - Recent Updates:

Data from private listing sites, including our own, tends to skew toward luxury apartments, which introduces sample bias when estimates are calculated directly from these listings. To address these limitations, we’ve recently made major updates to our methodology, which we believe have greatly improved the accuracy and reliability of our estimates.

Read more about our new methodology below, or see a more detailed post here.


Apartment List is committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available. To do this, we start with reliable median rent statistics from the Census Bureau, then extrapolate them forward to the current month using a growth rate calculated from our listing data. In doing so, we use a same-unit analysis similar to Case-Shiller’s approach, comparing only units that are available across both time periods to provide an accurate picture of rent growth in cities across the country.

Our approach corrects for the sample bias inherent in other private sources, producing results that are much closer to statistics published by the Census Bureau and HUD. Our methodology also allows us to construct a picture of rent growth over an extended period of time, with estimates that are updated each month.

Read more about our methodology here.

About Rent Reports:

Apartment List publishes monthly reports on rental trends for hundreds of cities across the U.S. We intend these reports to be a source of reliable information that help renters and policymakers make sound decisions, and we invest significant time and effort in gathering and analyzing rent data. Our work is covered regularly by journalists across the country.

We are continuously working to improve our methodology and data, with the goal of providing renters with the information that they need to make the best decisions.

Milwaukee Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states
Here's how Milwaukee ranks on:
B- Overall satisfaction
C Safety and crime rate
B- Jobs and career opportunities
A- Recreational activities
A- Affordability
D Quality of schools
A- Social Life
D Weather
B- Commute time
B State and local taxes
A- Public transit
C Pet-friendliness
Best Worst
Full data available when viewing on a non-mobile device.
Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released Milwaukee’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters nationwide, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of the country’s 111 million renters.

"Milwaukee renters expressed general satisfaction with the city overall," according to Apartment List. "However, ratings varied greatly across different categories, indicating that even though renters love Milwaukee, some aspects can be better."

Key Findings in Milwaukee include the following:

  • Milwaukee renters gave their city a B- overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for Milwaukee were affordability, public transit, social life and recreational activities, which all received A- scores.
  • The areas of concern to Milwaukee renters are weather and quality of local schools, which both received scores of D.
  • Milwaukee millennials are unsatisfied with their city, giving it an overall rating of F.
  • Milwaukee did relatively well compared to similar Midwestern cities, including Indianapolis (C+), Detroit (F) and Omaha (B-).
  • Milwaukee also did relatively well compared to similar cities nationwide, including Oklahoma City (C+), Tucson (D) and Memphis (C).
  • The top rated cities nationwide for renter satisfaction include Scottsdale, AZ, Irvine, CA, Boulder, CO and Ann Arbor, MI. The lowest rated cities include Tallahassee, FL, Stockton, CA, Dayton, OH, Detroit, MI and Newark, NJ.

Renters say:

  • "I love being in a smaller city but still having Chicago right next door. I also love that living in downtown Milwaukee has a more affordable cost of living compared to other big cities." -Janis C.
  • "I love that there are so many festivals and events celebrating the diversity of Milwaukee. I do wish the city felt safer at night." -Libby F.
  • "It’s easy to hate the weather and, because it’s a smaller city, it can be hard to find things to do in the winter. But I find the size to be manageable enough to navigate but big enough to be interesting." -Anon.

For more information on the survey methodology and findings or to speak to one of our researchers, please contact our team at