Why Renters are Making Big Moves across the Country

A new Apartment List survey of 24,000 renters across the U.S. reveals that the majority of renters plan to relocate to and settle down in cities where they don’t currently live, with the exception of Sunbelt renters, who are more likely to settle down where they presently reside.

According to the study, renters on the Coasts and in the Midwest will likely move to a new metro, and a significant portion of renters in Milwaukee, New York, Cleveland and San Francisco plan to settle down in a different city.

The reasons for these moves differ: in West and East Coast metros, affordability is a driving force; for renters in inland metros in the Midwest and South Atlantic, growing job prospects are contributing to relocations.

Survey Findings

  • 64 percent of renters plan on moving to a different metro to settle down
  • Renters in Sunbelt states like Arizona, Texas and Florida are more likely to remain in their cities
  • Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are popular states to settle down, as are Florida metros Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando and North Carolina metros Charlotte and Raleigh
  • The South is home to the top 5 metros where renters are satisfied with settling down: San Antonio, Louisville, Houston, Raleigh and Charlotte
  • 80 percent of renters in Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, San Francisco and Boston plan to settle somewhere else
  • In cities like Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Seattle, the cost of living is problematic enough to make relocating appealing despite robust employment opportunities

After job opportunities (34%) and affordability (30%), safety (8%), commute time (7%) and weather (7%) are the next biggest reasons renters around the country are relocating. As rising costs of living continue on their upward trajectory in American metros, cities with higher affordability and better job markets will see an influx of Americans looking to settle down.

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