Best cities for renting a home in America
While buying a house is a key component to living the American Dream, homeownership isn’t part of everyone’s plan. In fact, most Americans live in an area where it costs less to rent than to buy, according to a report by ATTOM Data Solutions. Renters are flocking to urban centers where housing might be more expensive to buy, but the opportunity for higher wages is a draw.
So, where are the best places to rent a home in the United States? To discover where people should rent, WalletHub compared 182 cities across two key dimensions: “rental market and affordability,” and “quality of life.” Stacker then used these metrics to create the following list of the best 50 cities for renting a home in America.
The results might seem surprising, especially for Arizona. Four of the top five cities to live in the U.S. are located in the Grand Canyon State. Read on to find out how your city stacks up, or where you should settle down next.
#50. Virginia Beach, VA
Total WalletHub score: 52.01
Rental market & affordability rank: 24
Quality of life rank: 98
This coastal city in Virginia sits where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Long stretches of beach, annual events like the East Coast Surfing Championships, and a thriving culinary scene draw new residents and visitors alike.
#49. Newport News, VA
Total WalletHub score: 52.19
Rental market & affordability rank: 11
Quality of life rank: 120
Nestled on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, Newport News is a coastal city on the James River. The town is steeped in history with its founding dating back to 1621. Residents can take advantage of the city’s numerous outdoor, historical, and cultural activities, including Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, Virginia War Museum, and Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center. Newport News is also the birthplace of jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald.
#48. Las Vegas, NV
Total WalletHub score: 52.38
Rental market & affordability rank: 40
Quality of life rank: 77
Don’t let the casinos and reputation of “Sin City” overshadow its livability. Off the strip, residents enjoy efficient public transportation, a thriving art scene, and outdoor parks and attractions like Springs Preserve. It was also one of 10 communities to win a 2018 All-America City Award. Nevada residents also get to keep more of their earnings, as the state has no income tax.
#47. Raleigh, NC
Total WalletHub score: 52.43
Rental market & affordability rank: 15
Quality of life rank: 113
North Carolina’s state capital is also known as the “City of Oaks,” named for the trees that line the downtown streets. Residents of Raleigh can enjoy a cost of living that is lower than the national average, walkable city centers, and free public transportation downtown. The city also offers so many performing arts and visual arts venues that the city is often called the “Smithsonian of the South.”
#46. Chesapeake, VA
Total WalletHub score: 52.43
Rental market & affordability rank: 10
Quality of life rank: 118
This city in coastal Virginia is located on the Intracoastal Waterway. It has deep historical roots dating back to the arrival of colonial settlers in the 1620s, and was the location of the Battle of Great Bridge during the American Revolution. Residents and visitors of the city can paddle its Dismal Swamp Canal, which inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.”
#45. San Francisco, CA
Total WalletHub score: 52.55
Rental market & affordability rank: 107
Quality of life rank: 41
Despite its skyrocketing housing costs, people are flocking to the cosmopolitan California city. Low unemployment, plentiful public transportation, breezy outdoor spaces, and a thriving art and dining scene are just a few reasons to call San Francisco home.
#44. Huntington Beach, CA
Total WalletHub score: 52.80
Rental market & affordability rank: 161
Quality of life rank: 5
The promise of sunny days and sandy beaches are just two reasons residents call ”Surf City USA” home. The beach town in Orange County lies between Los Angeles and San Diego and boasts 10 miles of coastline. Aside from perfect surfing conditions, residents can also enjoy a historic downtown center, farmers markets, and annual beach events like the AVP Volleyball Tournament, Coastal Country Jam, and Huntington Beach Air Show.
#43. Des Moines, IA
Total WalletHub score: 53.01
Rental market & affordability rank: 45
Quality of life rank: 68
Iowa’s capital city offers something for everyone from families to millennials just starting out. Des Moines boasts a cost of living lower than the national average, with housing in the city that is a mix of 1900s Tudor-style homes nestled in bucolic neighborhoods to more contemporary downtown lofts and apartments. The average commute is 19.2 minutes, which is fast for a city of its size. The city also offers a variety of cultural events and activities.
#42. Cape Coral, FL
Total WalletHub score: 53.22
Rental market & affordability rank: 145
Quality of life rank: 11
The Gulf Coast city in Southwest Florida features 400 miles of canals perfect for boating, fishing, and other water activities. Residents and visitors spend their leisure time enjoying sandy beaches, golf courses, and nature preserves.
#41. Amarillo, TX
Total WalletHub score: 53.37
Rental market & affordability rank: 42
Quality of life rank: 65
Situated where the southern planes meet the desert, Amarillo is a thriving city in the Texas panhandle. This community of nearly 200,000 residents is located along historic Route 66. The city offers outdoor attractions like Palo Duro Canyon State Park and an established art scene that includes the Amarillo Opera, Amarillo Symphony, and Amarillo Little Theatre, one of the oldest continuously operating theaters in the country.2018 All rights reserved.