DALLAS — Renters in Dallas ended 2018 paying an average of $31 more per month than they did at year-end 2017.

That reflects a 2.7 percent change, according to RentCafé.

Apartment rent in Dallas during 2018 grew to $1,182 from $1,151 the previous year.

The average puts Dallas at No. 12 for most expensive rent among RentCafé's top 20 "renter mega-hubs," sandwiched between Charlotte, N.C., at No. 11, and Houston at No. 13.

Related: See the 25 wealthiest ZIP codes in North Texas

Houston saw rents grow 1.7 percent year-over-year, or about $18, to an average rent of $1,093 per month. The growth rate also helped Houston rank among the nation's largest cities with the slowest-growing rents.

Apartment rent in Austin ranked highest in the Lone Star State. During 2018, Austin rent grew an average of $57 a month, or 4.4 percent, to yield an average monthly rent of $1,361.

Behind Austin, Fort Worth experienced the largest percent change in rent growth among the Texas renter mega-hubs. The city saw rent increase by 3.8 percent with an average $40 increase per month.

Nationwide, apartment rent grew about $42, or 3.1 percent, to $1,419, the report found. Los Angeles saw rents increase by 6.6 percent while Chicago saw rents bump up 4.9 percent. The average monthly rent in Los Angeles comes out to $2,461 while Chicago's average landed at $1,889. Small cities saw the most fluctuation, with double-digit growth in cities such as Midland and Odessa.

Large cities with the fastest-growing rents:

* Las Vegas: 7.9 percent growth

* Phoenix: 7.7 percent growth

* Los Angeles: 6.6 percent growth

* Jacksonville, Florida: 6.3 percent growth

* Nashville: 5.8 percent growth

Large cities with the slowest-growing rents:

* Queens, New York: 0.2 percent decline

* Baltimore: 1.1 percent growth

* Boston: 1.2 percent growth

* Houston: 1.7 percent growth

* Brooklyn: 1.7 percent growth

North Texas residents may be better off renting than buying a house, according to a new study by HomeArea.com.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the real estate research firm looked at all cities in Texas with populations of 60,000 or more residents and estimated a price-to-rent ratio, calculated by dividing median home value by median annual rent.

Among North Texas cities, Mesquite presented the best home-buying value with a ratio of 13.5.

You can see how other North Texas cities ranked by clicking here.