Breaking Down Best/Worst Cities for Renters

I recently received the latest survey on renter satisfaction from – one of the leading information sources and resources for renters.

Apartment List’s annual study evaluates cities nationwide across multiple metrics to determine where renters are most satisfied, as well as what key factors drive satisfaction. For example, renters were asked if they felt the city’s economy was on the right track, how they felt about local crime and safety, or how likely they were to recommend the city to friends and family.

This year, 10 cities out of the 100 surveyed were given A+ grades by renters for city satisfaction, according to results recently released in Apartment List’s Renter Confidence Survey. The top cities overall were Plano, Texas; Boston, Mass.; and Arlington, Va.

While at the bottom of the list were Newark, N.J.; New Haven, Conn.; and Bridgeport, Conn., which each received F grades for renter city satisfaction. Newark renters gave it a D for schools and F grades for safety and the economy. surveyed 18,675 renters across the United States, posting other key findings of interest to renters, including these points:

  • Besides Texas (Plano and Austin) and California (Torrance and San Francisco) each with two of the top 10 rated cities for renter satisfaction, the Washington DC metro area also scored well with both Washington, DC and Arlington, Va. scoring near the top.
  • Mountain states graded particularly well, with Utah, Idaho, and Colorado all scoring in the top five states. In fact, all of the top five states are located west of the Mississippi, including Minnesota and Oklahoma.
  • All five of the bottom rated states and all five bottom rated cities are on the Eastern seaboard. Renters gave average grades of “F” for satisfaction with safety and crime rates in these cities and states.
  • On average, 55% of respondents were satisfied with the quality of local schools. Irving, Texas, Plano, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah led all cities with 89% satisfaction rates. Bridgeport, Conn. (20%), Joliet, Ill. (20%), and San Bernardino, Calif. (25%) were the worst rated cities for schools.
  • Factors that have low influence on city satisfaction include quality of daily commute and state and local taxes.
  • Nationwide, 60% of renters plan to buy a home in the future. In particular, millennials show high plans for homeownership with 74% planning to buy homes.

In our next report, we’ll dive deeper into the to take a look at statewide trends of interest to renters.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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