Renting can be a strategic move, whether you’re saving to buy a house or want a more flexible lifestyle than homeownership may offer. But when you’re looking for a place to live, you can’t always just go with the cheapest option if you also want comforts like job security and access to nature.
To determine the best and worst places for renters, RentCafe ranked 136 U.S. cities on metrics ranging from average apartment size to local unemployment rate to influx of new business.
While the best cities for renters offer strong local economies and sizeable apartments at reasonable prices, the worst cities for renters leave much to be desired. You’re typically either paying less in rent at the sacrifice of job opportunities in the area or paying too much in rent despite earning a decent living.
RentCafe created a scoring system using 20 different metrics across three categories — cost of living, local economy and quality of life — to rank how renters may fare in each locale.
Each category considered data from metrics like these:
- Cost of living: Includes local cost of living estimates, lease renewal rates and market competition.
- Local economy: Includes job market indicators like unemployment (based on the Census Bureau 5-year estimates) and job growth rates and renter income.
- Quality of life: Includes apartment locations, school quality and natural amenities.
Detroit is the worst city for renters, the rent comparison website found. Though it might feature some notably affordable units on the rental market with an average rent of just $1,215 a month, Detroit’s high unemployment rate, low average income among renters of just $26,371 per year and low job growth potential make it a difficult place for renters to get ahead.
Outside of Detroit, however, you’ll find most of the bottom-10 cities for renters along the coasts — especially in the Northeast. Here are RentCafe’s worst cities for renters.
- Newark, New Jersey
- Brooklyn, New York
- Manhattan, New York
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Dayton, Ohio
- Anaheim, California
- Queens, New York
- Rochester, New York
- Stockton, California
Behind Detroit, four Northeastern places offer the worst-rated scenarios for renters. Higher incomes help renters in these places get by, but their quality of life may be lacking with limited options for well-positioned apartments and less access to natural amenities, according to RentCafe.
While many of RentCafe’s best cities for renters hail from Texas, New York locales nearly fill out the bottom of the rankings, with four entries among the worst 10 on the list.
High rent prices almost completely overshadow the benefits of renting and living in New York City, which include high incomes, decent job growth rates and centrally-located apartments.
Renters in Brooklyn and Manhattan — the second and third worst places, respectively — command relatively high salaries, with Brooklyn renters making $54,032 a year and Manhattan dwellers earning $76,806 a year, on average.
But those salaries are deeply undercut by steep rent prices. RentCafe estimates apartments rent for an average of $4,614 a month in Manhattan and $3,250 in Brooklyn, though apartment size and quality can certainly affect what you actually pay.
Based on RentCafe’s analysis, Queens would be the best value for renters in New York City because it shares some of the strong local economy factors like job growth with Manhattan and Brooklyn, but at a significantly lower price point.
Renters in Queens earn larger salaries — $62,244 a year on average — than their Brooklyn peers and tend to pay less in rent at an average of $2,801.
Source : CNBC