While homeownership is one of the cornerstones of the American Dream, realistically owning a home is just not in the cards for segments of the population. Renting, either by choice or by circumstance, will be the primary way they house themselves for the majority of their lives.
All-in-all, some 44 million households rent on an annual basis, but renting is not always a cheaper or ”better” alternative to owning a property. The road renters take depends on a variety of factors, including an individual’s or family’s financial means and how well the local real estate market is doing.
Since falling in the early days of the pandemic, rental prices have risen significantly. In 2021 alone, rents rose at double the rate of any previous year. This is happening concurrently with rising mortgage rates, which are rising at the fastest rate in over a decade in their own regards.
Knowing that renting is still a viable option for a large portion of the country, WalletHub has released new research covering the rental markets in 182 metropolitan areas based on 22 key measures of rental attractiveness and quality of life.
According to their findings, renters looking to get the most for their money should begin their search in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Bismark, North Dakota; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Overland Park, Kansas.
Tying for last place for the least affordable cities for renters are Detroit, Michigan; New Haven, Connecticut; Miami, Florida; Newark, New Jersey; and Hialeah, Florida.
Dr. James Refalo, Professor at the Department of Finance and Law at California State University was asked how local policymakers make housing more affordable for renters without upsetting homeowners.
“Land is the one asset that is in a finite availability. You cannot make more of it. In Washington (and I do not they are capable of it), it would be to ensure greater distribution of industry–and therefore jobs–throughout the United States,” Refalo said. “That could over time redirect the population to areas of the country available for low-cost development. (It would also be militarily sound). San Diego County may be an example of what can be done at the local level, in making un-used public land they own available to developers for low-income housing. But that will not be an option for every county, and it will really take some high-level thinking and cooperation with industry to address the housing shortage.”
Click here to view the study in its entirety, including rankings for the top 182 cities.