Most Renters Wish They Lived Elsewhere, Survey Says

June 20, 2018

Infographic of how much renters are willing to pay to move to an ideal location

Rent Cafe

The majority of renters aren’t happy with the location of where they live, according to a new survey by RentCafe of more than 2,000 renters. Eighty-three percent of renters say they live in less than their ideal location, but cost of rent was their number one concern in moving. Sixty percent of the renters surveyed say they are not able to pay anything more than the actual rent or a maximum of $100 more to live in their preferred location.

The national average rent in top-rated locations is $1,655, which is about 37 percent more than the average national rent of $1,211 charged in lower-rate locations, according to the RentCafe study. That marks a difference of $444 in monthly rent.

But researchers found that in six cities, the rent gap is more than 50 percent for a top-rated location: Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Houston, Memphis, and the borough of Brooklyn, N.Y. In Chicago, renters in top-notch locations pay nearly $1,000 more per month, according to the analysis.

The majority of renters surveyed say their “ideal location” is near their job. Renters of all ages surveyed rated walkability as a highly valued amenity, followed by being close to entertainment, dining, shopping, or the gym. However, preferences do change with age. Retirees, for example, prioritize being closer to friends and family more than other age groups.