Top 10 Affordable U.S Cities for Renters

Zillow has released a report of the most affordable cities for renters. They looked at the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. to zero in on the 10 most affordable cities for 2018.

This isn’t a simple list of where you can pay the least amount of rent. Researchers also considered work, income opportunities and population, which add to the quality of life. To make the grade, monthly rent in these cities had to be no more than 30 percent of the average income for the market.

Is your city one of the most affordable cities for renters?

1. Philadelphia, PA

Household Income Spent on Rent: 21.9%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,083

most affordable cities for renters
A 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,064 square foot home for rent in Philadelphia for $1,150 per month.

The city of brotherly love welcomes renters with open arms. The universities attract a large student population, making Philly a fairly young place to live. In fact, US News says, “Philly is a great spot for dating, as a little more than half of the population is single.”

2. St. Louis, MO

Household Income Spent on Rent: 22.2%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,150

most affordable cities for renter
You can rent a large, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1,165 square foot loft with views at the Vanguard for $1,139 per month.

St. Louis is a family-friendly city. Its central location attracts tech startups, aircraft manufacturers and global financial investment companies. The charming, historic neighborhoods feature Victorian homes, farmhouses, two-story colonials and traditional ranch houses.

3. Oklahoma City, OK

Household Income Spent on Rent: 22.8%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,100

most affordable cities for renter
A lovely 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,245 square foot apartment for rent for $1,000 per month.

You’ll feel way out west in Oklahoma City. You’ll find cowboys and horse shows are the norm here. It’s slowly becoming more cosmopolitan with a new restaurant and nightlife scene but Oklahoma City is still home to the world’s largest cattle market.

4. Raleigh, NC

Household Income Spent on Rent: 22.9%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,441

most affordable cities for renter
This 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,600 square foot home in Raleigh has a fenced yard and is close to the Beltline. It’s for rent for $1,375 per month.

Along with being one of the most affordable cities for renters, Raleigh is also great for job-seekers. A strong job market in research, healthcare, tech and education placed Raleigh in Glassdoor’s list of top 5 cities for jobs.

5. Birmingham, AL

Household Income Spent on Rent: 23.1%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,054

most affordable cities for renter
Modern living featuring 2 bedrooms and 2 baths in 1,213 square feet at The Crowne for $1,015 per month. The complex includes a swimming pool and a gym.

Living in Birmingham revolves around sports and the outdoors. The city is home to the Southwestern Athletic Conference. And if you’re not a sports fan, there are lovely hiking trails in Red Mountain Park.

6. Kansas City, MO

Household Income Spent on Rent: 24.0%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,278

most affordable cities for renter
Kinsley Forest Luxury Apartments offers apartments for rent. This one is $1,299 per month and includes 2 bedrooms and 2 baths in 1,010 square feet. The property features resort living including a large swimming pool area, outdoor barbecues, a club house and gym.

Spread out over two states and two rivers, Kansas City has a lively music scene. Jazz legend Charlie Parker was from Kansas City. As more millennials move to this city for its affordable housing and expanding job market, the area is quickly growing as a creative community with plenty of coffee shops, bars and galleries.

7. Indianapolis, IN

Household Income Spent on Rent: 24.4%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,204

Resort living is possible at the Island Club Apartments in Indianapolis. A 1,055 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath is $1,055 per month.

There’s always something to do in Indianapolis. One of the world’s largest children’s museums is here, as well as miles of recreational walking and running trails. The Circle City has plenty to offer in the form of entertainment. And for sports fans, Indy is the racing capital of the world and has plenty of professional and college sports teams to cheer on.

8. Cincinnati, OH

Household Income Spent on Rent: 24.5%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,282

A poolside clubhouse at Stetson Square is one of the many high-end amenities available. A 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,067 square foot apartment rents for $1,320 per month.

Cincinnati attracts families due to the city’s fame for having excellent Montessori, public and private schools. Several Fortune 500 companies recruit national and international talent to make Cincinnati their home.

9. Charlotte, NC

Household Income Spent on Rent: 24.7%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,301

Stone Ridge apartments are spacious, bright and packed with many amenities including a fitness center, a large outdoor pool area and a fireplace in many of the apartments. 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartments start at $1,180 for a minimum of 1,000 square feet.

With a median annual salary of $49,600 and a vibrant nightlife, Charlotte isn’t just one of the most affordable cities for renters; it also ranks #22 in the best places to live according to US News. The charming city is still old-fashioned and full of southern charm, yet the bars and restaurants offer the cosmopolitan vibe you’d expect in larger cities.

10. Detroit, MI

Household Income Spent on Rent: 24.8%
Zillow’s Average Monthly Rent Payment: $1,209

You can rent a large, 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 3,400 square foot house like this one on Zillow for $1,350 per month in Detroit.

Detroit suffered from a mass exodus of people after economic troubles but it appears to be making a comeback. Whole Foods opened a store in Detroit’s midtown in 2013. The M-1 Rail, which is a new streetcar that runs down the city’s main thoroughfare from the suburbs, connects both worlds. Small businesses and new restaurants are popping up, making Detroit attractive to renters.

Do you live in one of the most affordable cities for renters, or do you think that Zillow missed your town? We’d love to hear which city you’d add to the list.