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Renters in Search of a New Home Want to Move to These Cities

One heartland city overtakes Atlanta for the top spot in a list of the most in-demand cities for renters


By Barbara Ballinger

May 18, 2023


The Midwest is garnering greater interest among would-be renters, according to the latest monthly survey by RentCafe.


At the top of the list is Kansas City, Mo., which climbed up from second place and displaced Atlanta, which had been first, according to last month’s report. Second was Detroit. Albuquerque, N.M., moved up to third place, Cincinnati to fourth and Atlanta dropped to fifth.


Cities on both coasts got some love from interested renters. In the West, Seattle/Tacoma climbed to 27, a big jump of 20 spaces; Vancouver soared an even more impressive 44 spots to be at 14, and Sacramento landed at 25, up from 43 due to the spillover effect of more renters leaving expensive Silicon Valley.


On the opposite coast, New York’s Bronx and Queens boroughs outranked Manhattan in May, respectively, hitting 17 and 23 to make it into the top 30 category. But so did the Big Apple, though it experienced a big loss of 25 spots from April when it was fifth to land at 30. That decline was probably due to being another expensive place to live. In addition, more don’t have to live there to work there with the continued option of work-from-home or hybrid solutions that many companies permit.


Much of renting’s appeal is due to the continued difficulty of buying a home as listing prices, interest rates and mortgage payments all remain high and inventory stays low. Renters keep searching for the right place to land, based on a host of factors, from apartment availability to cost of living, job opportunities and some say the right climate. In its latest report, RentCafe.com used four indicators to rank the country’s 150 largest cities for this apartment survey: availability, listing views, apartments saved as favorites and saved personalized searches. In addition, it looked at how these trends changed over the last year.


Midwestern Cities


Kansas City took home the first-place win in views by attracting 80% more than a year ago. Apartment hunters searching there also saved more personalized searches of what was available. The city is known for its parks, jazz, art, craft breweries and, of course, its own style barbecue. Detroit closely followed, attracting 66% more views compared to a year ago and renters marked five times more apartments as favorites. They also saved three times as many personalized searches versus a year ago. The Motor City has been lauded for its impressive revival including increased growth.


While fourth place also went to a Midwestern city–Cincinnati–the third place proved an exception by going to Albuquerque, N.M. Renters looking in that state’s largest city favored nine times as many apartments on RentCafe as they did a year ago. One conclusion made in the report is that apartment hunters there are more deliberate when it comes to renting since they marked a higher number of properties that they consider a good fit.

Atlanta’s Fall

Despite its fall from first to fifth place, this Southern city is still considered a highly desirable place to rent and live since it remained in the top five out of 150. Lookers also favored twice as many apartments there as they did a year ago. Many cite its parks, attractive communities, food scene and good weather as strong reasons to live there.

Others in the Top 10

The remaining five cities in the top 10 in order of their May ranking include Denver, Portland, Ore., Minneapolis, Wichita, Kan., and Orlando, the latter dropping one place from April. And though not in the top 10 group, some cities beyond New York borders keep the Northeast as a popular region to live for those seeking a large city with a variety of housing, views of water and easy access to airports and other transportation. Philly took the 13th spot, followed by Boston, which dropped to 21, possibly because of its high cost of living.



Ballinger, Barbara. “Renters in Search of a New Home Want to Move to These Cities.” Globest, 18 May 2023, www.globest.com/2023/05/18/renters-in-search-of-a-new-home-want-to-move-to-these-cities/?kw=Renters+in+Search+of+a+New+Home+Want+to+Move+to+These+Cities&utm_source=email&utm_medium=enl&utm_campaign=multifamilyalert&utm_content=20230518&utm_term=rem&oly_enc_id=9452C4977023C0T.



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