Austin, Texas suburb Round Rock was crowned the best city for renters in 2022, followed by North Carolina’s fastest-growing city, Raleigh, in a recent report by RentCafe, which ranked the best U.S. cities for renting an apartment in 2022
Using a combination of 17 metrics and proprietary data including what it costs to live in America’s cities, the study also looked at the selection and quality of apartments, the quality of their neighborhoods, occupancy rates, local economy growth, air quality, job opportunities and much more.
RentCafe used three main categories in its ranking—cost of living and housing, local economy and quality of life, to rank the top cities for renters.
Some key findings:
- Round Rock leads a cohort of other Southern cities, small and large, that confirm not only Texas’ appeal for renters, but the South’s as an entire region. Round Rock stands out especially due to its highly rated schools, having one of the best job growths in the country: 9.1%, and a large stock of high-end apartments: 75%.
- Raleigh takes the second spot due to its great quality of life metrics, as well as its high-end apartments in quality neighborhoods, low unemployment rate – 4.3%, and access to high-quality education.
- Conroe, Texas ranks third thanks to its great cost of living and housing, followed by Greenville, South Carolina, and Orlando, Florida, which rounds up the top 5.
- Jacksonville, Florida takes the title of best large city for renters, at No. 6 overall. What made it stand out were its large apartments, high number of new business applications—one of the highest in the country, good job growth—5.4%, and low unemployment rate—5.5%.
- Small cities dominate the cost of living and housing section, with Savannah, Georgia in the lead. Its large floorplans and lower overall costs of living helped the city rank high up in the general chart as well, at no. 12. Plano, Texas ranks best for local economy, with a low unemployment rate of 4%, one of the highest average incomes: $78,700, and a healthy job growth of 7.4%.
“Small cities, with a population under 300,000, dominate the main ranking of the best cities for renters, claiming four spots out of the top five. Conroe, Texas, Round Rock, Texas, Greenville, South Carolina, and Orlando, Florida take the first four positions,” wrote Laura Pop-Badiu. creative writer at RentCafe and author of the report. “Small cities tend to offer the best life for renters, representing half of our top 50—despite the fact that some people might expect larger cities to suit renters’ needs the best. In fact, many of these smaller cities are suburbs of large metros and are often clustered in the Southern and Southeastern United States. What they all have in common is a healthy pace of new apartment construction and a great selection of amenity-rich properties.”
To see which large and mid-size cities RentCafe ranks as best for renters, and to read the full report, click here.