Best US Cities to Rent an Apartment

A suburb of Austin, Texas is the best place to rent in the United States this year, according to a report by RentCafe, an apartment listing service.

The 10 cities that top the list are: Round Rock, Texas; Raleigh, NC; Conroe, Texas; Greenville, South Carolina; Orlando Fla.; Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta; and austin.

Small towns dominated the top five towns for renters, with all but Raliegh having fewer than 300,000 residents, the report said.

Round Rock, Texas. According to RentCafe, Round Rock, 15 miles north of Austin, offers a balanced mix of urban amenities and suburban perks. Dubbed the “Sports Capital of Texas,” Round Rock is home to several parks and outdoor spaces. Out of more than 100 cities included in the study, Round Rock was ranked 10th for local economy, 12th for quality of life, and 13th for cost of living. Two-thirds of the city’s apartments are considered high-end, with amenities and finishes that appeal to modern renters, the report said.

Raleigh, North Carolina. With a thriving job market and plenty of housing in top neighborhoods, Raleigh ranks high in terms of quality of life, the report said. Last year, it was one of the top 20 US cities for new construction, with about 4,800 new units built.

Conroe, Texas. Conroe is a small town 40 miles north of Houston that ranks highly for its low cost of living and housing. But that doesn’t mean rental prices are lacking — 70% of Conroe’s apartments are considered “high-end,” and the town has a variety of outdoor spaces that appeal to nature lovers.

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Greenville, South Carolina. Of the cities analyzed for the report, Greenville ranks highest in terms of low unemployment. (Only Arlington, Virginia, and Madison, Wisconsin rank higher.) That’s in part because of the many healthcare, technology, and automotive companies that call Greenville home. The city also ranks second when it comes to the cost of living.

OrlandoFlorida. With gorgeous weather, a strong housing market, and plenty of activities and entertainment, Orlando rounds out the top 5 cities for renters. Orlando, home to Disney World and other major attractions, ranks high in terms of local economy and has an urban suburban feel, the report said.

Best and Worst by Category

When looking at specific categories such as cost of living, profitability and quality of life, cities score as follows:

  • Savannah, Georgia ranked highest for cost of living and housing. Brooklyn, New York ranks lowest.
  • Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburb, ranked highest for the local economy based on metrics such as job growth, median rental income and unemployment. Dayton, Ohio ranks lowest.
  • San Francisco offers the highest quality of life based on metrics such as school quality, air quality, and proportion of drivers. Indianapolis ended up in last place.

A lack of rent

It’s a particularly difficult time for renters, as recent research shows the United States will need 3.5 million new units by 2035 to keep up with demand. Today 600,000 units are missing.

While some factors contributing to the shortage — like supply chain disruptions and material shortages — are beyond the control of local politicians, there are steps cities can still take to address housing issues in their communities. This includes adjusting the zoning regulations and the permitting process.

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For the RentCafe report, the researchers used 17 metrics in their data analysis, including affordability, quality of housing and neighborhoods, opportunities for job growth, and air quality.

To read the full report, click here.

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