Small-size cities located mainly in the South and Southeast make the best places to rent this year, a recent study by RentCafe.com revealed. Specifically, the Austin, Texas, suburb of Round Rock emerged as the nation’s best place to rent in 2022.
RentCafe.com’s annual ranking of best cities for renters is based on proprietary data about hundreds of cities across the U.S., of which 115 locations were deemed suitable candidates. RentCafe’s research team factored in those locations’ cost of living, selection and quality of apartments available, quality of neighborhoods, occupancy rates, access to amenities, commute times, quality or air, quality of public schools, opportunities for job growth, median income and many other metrics.
Small Southern markets accounted for about half of the top 50, according to RentCafe’s analysis. What all these cities have in common is a healthy pace of new apartment construction and a great selection of amenity-rich properties.
Round Rock leads a cohort of Southern locations
Located just 15 miles of Austin, Round Rock was the absolute best city for renting in 2022, confirming Texas’ appeal for renters. With a population of just under 130,000, Round Rock stands out due to its highly rated schools, large supply of high-end apartments (making up about 75 percent of the total housing stock) and one of the best job growth rates in the country (9.1 percent).
Next came Raleigh, N.C., where renters enjoy a great quality of life, some of the largest apartment sizes in the ranking (averaging 958 square feet), a large share of high-end rental units (65 percent), short commute times (17 minutes on average), and nearly 200 days with good air quality, among others.
Another small city in Texas, Conroe, took the third spot. Located some 40 miles directly north of Houston, more than 70 percent of the rental units here are high-end, which means that renters have access to a diverse selection of high-quality apartments.
Jacksonville is the best large cities for renters
Out of the large cities—with a population over 600,000—analyzed by RentCafe’s research team, Jacksonville ranked highest in terms of renting. Apart from great weather and many entertainment opportunities, people renting in Jacksonville benefit from a combination of lively social scene and serene outdoor areas.
Charlotte, the most populous place in North Carolina, also ranked high among the large cities, mainly due to its strong economy and dynamic business landscape. Next came Austin, a thriving tech hub and a magnet for new residents in recent years.