Apartment-List_Delighted-Renters_D3_Sep28

We’ve all heard the saying that Happiness = Reality – Expectations. With rent prices skyrocketing in many cities across the country, some renters are clearly not satisfied with what they are paying. Which had us wondering: which cities are renters most delighted by rent prices?

To get an answer to this question, we dove into the data. Apartment List publishes monthly reports showing median 1BR and 2BR rent prices by city and state, and each renter on our site selects a size and price range on their profile. By comparing the two numbers, we were able to determine how renters’ expectations compared to reality. Our analysis focuses on cities with a population greater than 300,000. Let’s take a look at the results!

Renter Expectations vs. Reality, by City

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The chart below is divided into three areas:

  • Search price is higher than actual price – renters are delighted
  • Search price is equal to actual price – renter expectations are met
  • Actual price is higher than search price – renters are disappointed

Looking at the data, renters appear to be most delighted in affordable cities where rent is under $1,000. In Memphis, for example renters set their budget at $851, but the median 2 bedroom apartment only costs $580. That’s a 47% difference, or an additional $271 that a renter can save each month.

The opposite is true in expensive cities, like San Francisco, where the average search price is $2,793 but the median 2 bedroom apartment costs (gulp) $4,750. Even a 1 bedroom apartment in San Francisco costs $3,350! That’s a sure recipe for disappointment.

Next, we took a look at the percent difference between renter expectations and reality, by city; our measure of renter delight or disappointment.

Percent Difference Between Search Price and Actual Price, by City

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Encouragingly, renters have their expectations met or exceeded in 46 out of 59 cities we examined – nearly 80%! These are cities where the median rent was within 10% of the search price set by the renter. In 23 of these cities (39% overall), actual price was more than 10% below the search price.

Unfortunately, there were 13 cities where renters were disappointed. And in some cases, by large margins. Let’s dive into each of these groups to look at the top ten cities in each category.

Cities Where Renters Are Most Delighted

Venngage - top 10 delighted v2

Our top cities where renters have cash to splurge on an apartment are: Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia, where renters have budgets that are up to 92% higher than actual rent. For example, the median 2BR apartment in Detroit costs $600, but renters there had an average search price of $1,046 – 74% more than they needed to! I don’t know about you, but I would be stoked to learn that apartments are way cheaper than I was expecting – more money to spend on burritos.

Overall, Midwestern and Southern cities accounted for 8 out of the 10 cities that had the most delighted renters. If you want to be able to get a nice apartment, you might want to move there. Among big cities, Cleveland scored the best, with a score of +92%.

Cities That Most Closely Met Renter Expectations

Neutral renters top 10 v2

The next group of cities are those where renters had the most accurate rent expectations, with less than 10% gap between search price and actual price. Pittsburgh, PA took first place – renters in that city were only $4 (0.3%) off in their estimated rent prices! Those are some realistic expectations.

Overall, these cities tended to be mid-priced cities, with rent between $800 and $1,200. Not so cheap that you can splurge, but still within reach of the average household.

Cities Where Renters Are Most Disappointed

Venngage - top 10 disappointed v2

The award for ‘most disappointed renters’ goes to Miami, with New York following closely behind – renters in those cities searched for apartments that were 51% below actual price! Imagine searching for a $1,336 apartment and seeing that everything costs $2,730 – that’s the unfortunate situation for renters in Miami.

Most other cities in the top ten were expensive, coastal cities, with Chicago and Houston being the only exceptions. Also, rent prices in Boston and Washington DC have actually fallen in the past year, but our analysis suggests that renters in those cities are still struggling.

Conclusion

So there you have it. It turns out that almost 80% of the large cities in our study have renters within 10% of their budget, and renters in 39% of cities can actually find apartments for significantly less than they expected. Most of those cities are in the Midwest, so renters looking for the most bang for their buck might want to start their search there.

Unfortunately for renters in Miami and other expensive cities on the coasts, prices are much higher than what they were expecting – perhaps it’s time to get a roommate, or move to a more affordable neighborhood? As always, Apartment List is here to help you in the next step of your search!

See below for the full list of search and actual prices for 390 cities in the US.

RankCityMedian 2 BR price2 BR search pricePercent difference
1Cleveland, OH$620 $1,193 92%
2Detroit, MI$600 $1,046 74%
3Albany, GA$400$68571%
4Cincinnati, OH$650 $1,010 55%
5South Bend, IN$580$87851%
6Fort Wayne, IN$510$77251%
7Philadelphia, PA $1,000 $1,475 48%
8Memphis, TN$580$85147%
9High Point, NC$500$72745%
10Milwaukee, WI$750 $1,089 45%
11Indianapolis, IN$650$94045%
12Toledo, OH$540$77644%
13Rockford, IL$580$82442%
14Dayton, OH$550$77641%
15Columbia, MO$600$84240%
16Birmingham, AL$660$90838%
17Columbus, OH$750 $1,029 37%
18Pueblo, CO$580$79136%
19Green Bay, WI$630$84935%
20Rochester, NY$700$94034%
21Mission, TX$570$76634%
22Yuma, AZ$590$79134%
23Wichita, KS$610$81734%
24Little Rock, AR$680$90533%
25Springfield, MO$550$73133%
26Buffalo, NY$700$93033%
27Roanoke, VA$680$90333%
28Akron, OH$600$79332%
29Huntsville, AL$600$79232%
30Victorville, CA$630$83032%
31Chattanooga, TN$730$96132%
32Redding, CA$700$92031%
33Beaumont, TX$680$89131%
34Richmond, VA$800 $1,048 31%
35Amarillo, TX$680$89031%
36Des Moines, IA$740$96731%
37Louisville, KY$680$88730%
38Springfield, IL$660$86130%
39Flint, MI$530$69130%
40Hartford, CT$900 $1,171 30%
41Reading, PA$640$83330%
42Shreveport, LA$650$84029%
43Lansing, MI$650$83929%
44Mobile, AL$650$83629%
45Madison, WI$900 $1,155 28%
46Fort Smith, AR$550$70027%
47Killeen, TX$580$73727%
48Erie, PA$640$81227%
49Montgomery, AL$650$82327%
50Cedar Rapids, IA$670$84827%
51Winston-Salem, NC$660$83226%
52St. Joseph, MO$600$75426%
53Phoenix, AZ$780$98026%
54Columbus, GA$650$81525%
55Las Vegas, NV$850 $1,065 25%
56Visalia, CA$700$87525%
57Evanston, IL $1,340 $1,670 25%
58Norfolk, VA$810 $1,009 25%
59Bloomington, IN$750$93324%
60College Station, TX$700$87024%
61Tucson, AZ$710$88124%
62Kalamazoo, MI$700$86824%
63Champaign, IL$770$95424%
64Melbourne, FL$800$98723%
65Tulsa, OK$700$86323%
66Concord, NC$690$84623%
67Troy, MI$930 $1,140 23%
68Reno, NV$840 $1,029 23%
69Stockton, CA$750$91622%
70Syracuse, NY$800$97622%
71Bakersfield, CA$750$91222%
72Augusta, GA$660$80221%
73Knoxville, TN$750$91021%
74El Paso, TX$710$86121%
75Fort Worth, TX$810$98021%
76Lawrence, KS$740$89321%
77Brownsville, TX$660$79520%
78Fayetteville, NC$650$78220%
79Salem, OR$730$87720%
80Jackson, MS$710$85220%
81Fresno, CA$750$89920%
82Grand Rapids, MI$820$98320%
83Abilene, TX$700$83319%
84Hesperia, CA$730$86819%
85Lubbock, TX$730$86819%
86Jacksonville, FL$810$96119%
87Davenport, IA$750$88918%
88Spokane, WA$780$92218%
89Greenville, NC$660$77718%
90Pharr, TX$650$76518%
91Olathe, KS$750$88017%
92Fayetteville, AR$700$82017%
93St. George, UT$730$85417%
94St. Louis, MO$850$99417%
95Newark, NJ $1,000 $1,166 17%
96Gainesville, FL$750$87517%
97Bryan, TX$650$75817%
98Tallahassee, FL$750$87316%
99Duluth, MN$910 $1,059 16%
100Norman, OK$730$84916%
101Albuquerque, NM$800$93116%
102Lakeland, FL$750$87116%
103Edinburg, TX$660$76416%
104Bellingham, WA$930 $1,073 15%
105Palmdale, CA$800$92315%
106Topeka, KS$650$74715%
107Albany, NY $1,000 $1,147 15%
108Tyler, TX$760$87015%
109Las Cruces, NM$680$77714%
110Waco, TX$750$85414%
111Longview, TX$760$86614%
112Medford, OR$830$94314%
113Murfreesboro, TN$760$86213%
114Waterbury, CT$800$90313%
115New Bedford, MA$790$89013%
116St. Petersburg, FL $1,050 $1,183 13%
117New Orleans, LA $1,200 $1,351 13%
118Greensboro, NC$730$82213%
119Charlotte, NC$960 $1,080 12%
120Edmond, OK$790$88712%
121Irving, TX$900 $1,009 12%
122Evansville, IN$700$78412%
123Rochester, MN$950 $1,061 12%
124Greeley, CO$850$95012%
125Yakima, WA$750$83411%
126Westland, MI$740$82211%
127Worcester, MA $1,000 $1,111 11%
128Modesto, CA$850$94411%
129Sioux Falls, SD$800$88811%
130New Haven, CT $1,200 $1,331 11%
131Peoria, IL$820$90310%
132Tampa, FL$940 $1,034 10%
133Clovis, CA$860$94610%
134Bloomington, IL$800$88010%
135Bethlehem, PA$980 $1,075 10%
136Eugene, OR$900$9849%
137Laredo, TX$770$8379%
138Hampton, VA$870$9469%
139Baltimore, MD $1,100 $1,195 9%
140Elgin, IL$920$9989%
141Longmont, CO $1,050 $1,138 8%
142Parma, OH$730$7918%
143Glendale, AZ$750$8128%
144Fargo, ND$860$9268%
145Corpus Christi, TX$940 $1,009 7%
146Arlington, TX$850$9137%
147Wilmington, NC$890$9557%
148Roswell, GA $1,010 $1,080 7%
149Newport News, VA$870$9307%
150Provo, UT$780$8337%
151Scottsdale, AZ $1,200 $1,282 7%
152Merced, CA$750$8007%
153Auburn, WA$950 $1,013 7%
154Durham, NC$950 $1,013 7%
155Livonia, MI$870$9236%
156Scranton, PA$840$8916%
157Clearwater, FL$980 $1,040 6%
158Springfield, MA$900$9546%
159Savannah, GA$990 $1,048 6%
160Lee’s Summit, MO$810$8576%
161Lafayette, LA$870$9216%
162Henderson, NV$940$9946%
163Lewisville, TX$960 $1,014 6%
164Columbia, SC$840$8866%
165Independence, MO$690$7285%
166Warren, MI$770$8115%
167Garland, TX$840$8825%
168Denton, TX$890$9355%
169North Charleston, SC$830$8715%
170Tempe, AZ$930$9755%
171Raleigh, NC$940$9855%
172Roseville, CA $1,200 $1,256 5%
173Farmington Hills, MI $1,000 $1,047 5%
174Grand Prairie, TX$840$8795%
175Chico, CA$920$9625%
176Sacramento, CA $1,100 $1,149 4%
177Providence, RI $1,200 $1,251 4%
178McAllen, TX$800$8344%
179Baytown, TX$850$8864%
180Allentown, PA$940$9794%
181Asheville, NC $1,030 $1,071 4%
182Fort Collins, CO $1,100 $1,143 4%
183Colorado Springs, CO$900$9344%
184Omaha, NE$900$9334%
185Ogden, UT$740$7653%
186Dearborn, MI$950$9823%
187Carmel, IN $1,100 $1,136 3%
188Mesquite, TX$820$8463%
189Springdale, AR$670$6903%
190San Bernardino, CA$900$9253%
191Nashville, TN $1,140 $1,169 3%
192St. Paul, MN $1,050 $1,074 2%
193Citrus Heights, CA $1,000 $1,023 2%
194Carrollton, TX$990 $1,011 2%
195Joliet, IL$900$9192%
196Orlando, FL $1,000 $1,017 2%
197Baton Rouge, LA$920$9362%
198Santa Maria, CA $1,220 $1,239 2%
199Brooklyn Park, MN$950$9652%
200Clarksville, TN$780$7901%
201Lincoln, NE$830$8401%
202Tuscaloosa, AL$860$8701%
203San Antonio, TX $1,020 $1,032 1%
204West Jordan, UT$940$9471%
205San Angelo, TX$950$9561%
206Virginia Beach, VA $1,100 $1,106 1%
207Bend, OR $1,100 $1,104 0%
208Pittsburgh, PA $1,200 $1,204 0%
209Waukegan, IL$900$9030%
210Orem, UT$850$8530%
211Gresham, OR $1,000 $1,001 0%
212Hammond, IN$800$8000%
213Chandler, AZ$950$9500%
214Vancouver, WA $1,050 $1,047 0%
215Manchester, NH $1,160 $1,151 -1%
216Midland, TX $1,280 $1,270 -1%
217Fontana, CA $1,030 $1,021 -1%
218West Palm Beach, FL $1,200 $1,189 -1%
219Lancaster, CA$950$939-1%
220Mesa, AZ$830$820-1%
221Everett, WA $1,190 $1,175 -1%
222Alameda, CA $2,070 $2,042 -1%
223Ann Arbor, MI $1,400 $1,374 -2%
224Round Rock, TX $1,070 $1,050 -2%
225Hemet, CA$890$873-2%
226Buena Park, CA $1,450 $1,421 -2%
227Inglewood, CA $1,370 $1,341 -2%
228Palm Bay, FL$850$831-2%
229Minneapolis, MN $1,300 $1,271 -2%
230Pomona, CA $1,150 $1,123 -2%
231Lynchburg, VA$830$806-3%
232Plano, TX $1,210 $1,174 -3%
233Largo, FL$950$921-3%
234Deltona, FL$830$805-3%
235Bellflower, CA $1,340 $1,298 -3%
236Kirkland, WA $1,720 $1,664 -3%
237Hawthorne, CA $1,330 $1,285 -3%
238Elizabeth, NJ $1,160 $1,120 -3%
239Newton, MA $2,180 $2,103 -4%
240Antioch, CA $1,270 $1,224 -4%
241Bridgeport, CT $1,100 $1,060 -4%
242Tracy, CA $1,250 $1,201 -4%
243Overland Park, KS $1,100 $1,049 -5%
244Rialto, CA $1,000 $951-5%
245Centennial, CO $1,430 $1,354 -5%
246McKinney, TX $1,130 $1,068 -5%
247El Cajon, CA $1,300 $1,228 -6%
248Cape Coral, FL$960$905-6%
249Chino, CA $1,330 $1,252 -6%
250Bloomington, MN $1,200 $1,130 -6%
251Nashua, NH $1,320 $1,243 -6%
252Westminster, CA $1,500 $1,412 -6%
253Long Beach, CA $1,580 $1,487 -6%
254Sterling Heights, MI$950$893-6%
255Port St. Lucie, FL $1,000 $940-6%
256Torrance, CA $1,750 $1,645 -6%
257Downey, CA $1,430 $1,344 -6%
258Norwalk, CT $1,920 $1,803 -6%
259Simi Valley, CA $1,610 $1,510 -6%
260Austin, TX $1,380 $1,293 -6%
261Renton, WA $1,360 $1,271 -7%
262Richardson, TX $1,180 $1,101 -7%
263Nampa, ID$760$709-7%
264Arvada, CO $1,250 $1,160 -7%
265Federal Way, WA $1,150 $1,064 -8%
266Oakland, CA $2,000 $1,841 -8%
267Brockton, MA $1,230 $1,131 -8%
268Quincy, MA $1,800 $1,653 -8%
269Oxnard, CA $1,530 $1,402 -8%
270Coral Springs, FL $1,270 $1,164 -8%
271Sandy Springs, GA $1,180 $1,078 -9%
272Miami Gardens, FL $1,140 $1,039 -9%
273Boca Raton, FL $1,700 $1,539 -9%
274Bellevue, WA $1,990 $1,792 -10%
275Baldwin Park, CA $1,330 $1,195 -10%
276Huntington Beach, CA $1,980 $1,779 -10%
277Tustin, CA $1,800 $1,615 -10%
278West Covina, CA $1,500 $1,346 -10%
279Aurora, CO $1,200 $1,075 -10%
280Carlsbad, CA $2,000 $1,787 -11%
281Riverside, CA $1,190 $1,063 -11%
282South Gate, CA $1,330 $1,187 -11%
283Temecula, CA $1,380 $1,228 -11%
284Salinas, CA $1,400 $1,243 -11%
285Portland, OR $1,550 $1,376 -11%
286Stamford, CT $2,170 $1,924 -11%
287Upland, CA $1,410 $1,248 -11%
288Tacoma, WA $1,200 $1,062 -12%
289Whittier, CA $1,550 $1,371 -12%
290Alexandria, VA $1,910 $1,689 -12%
291Escondido, CA $1,460 $1,289 -12%
292Vacaville, CA $1,450 $1,279 -12%
293Odessa, TX $1,250 $1,101 -12%
294Vista, CA $1,460 $1,285 -12%
295Napa, CA $1,800 $1,583 -12%
296Newport Beach, CA $2,600 $2,282 -12%
297Lakewood, CO $1,330 $1,167 -12%
298Dallas, TX $1,380 $1,209 -12%
299Garden Grove, CA $1,630 $1,428 -12%
300Pembroke Pines, FL $1,480 $1,296 -12%
301Frisco, TX $1,460 $1,278 -12%
302Yonkers, NY $1,680 $1,470 -13%
303Rancho Cucamonga, CA $1,510 $1,321 -13%
304Boulder, CO $1,800 $1,572 -13%
305Plantation, FL $1,530 $1,336 -13%
306Corona, CA $1,430 $1,247 -13%
307Livermore, CA $2,010 $1,751 -13%
308Vallejo, CA $1,400 $1,219 -13%
309Miramar, FL $1,450 $1,260 -13%
310Charleston, SC $1,450 $1,258 -13%
311Oceanside, CA $1,600 $1,388 -13%
312Fullerton, CA $1,790 $1,553 -13%
313Denver, CO $1,560 $1,349 -14%
314Costa Mesa, CA $2,040 $1,762 -14%
315Naperville, IL $1,610 $1,382 -14%
316Glendale, CA $2,000 $1,713 -14%
317Chesapeake, VA $1,150 $985-14%
318Norwalk, CA $1,540 $1,318 -14%
319Kent, WA $1,310 $1,120 -15%
320Deerfield Beach, FL $1,480 $1,263 -15%
321Chula Vista, CA $1,510 $1,287 -15%
322Thornton, CO $1,310 $1,116 -15%
323Lynn, MA $1,430 $1,217 -15%
324Cranston, RI $1,300 $1,106 -15%
325Atlanta, GA $1,300 $1,106 -15%
326Thousand Oaks, CA $2,050 $1,739 -15%
327Cambridge, MA $2,700 $2,289 -15%
328Sunrise, FL $1,400 $1,186 -15%
329Compton, CA $1,320 $1,118 -15%
330Somerville, MA $2,200 $1,862 -15%
331San Leandro, CA $1,770 $1,493 -16%
332Santa Clarita, CA $1,770 $1,492 -16%
333Los Angeles, CA $2,110 $1,778 -16%
334Concord, CA $1,700 $1,432 -16%
335San Diego, CA $1,900 $1,600 -16%
336Avondale, AZ$990$831-16%
337Fairfield, CA $1,370 $1,149 -16%
338Johns Creek, GA $1,500 $1,256 -16%
339Paterson, NJ $1,250 $1,047 -16%
340Westminster, CO $1,360 $1,139 -16%
341Anaheim, CA $1,730 $1,444 -17%
342Houston, TX $1,330 $1,107 -17%
343Moreno Valley, CA $1,200 $998-17%
344Sunnyvale, CA $3,000 $2,492 -17%
345Fremont, CA $2,430 $2,011 -17%
346Beaverton, OR $1,310 $1,084 -17%
347Kennewick, WA $1,050 $862-18%
348Mountain View, CA $3,300 $2,705 -18%
349Elk Grove, CA $1,330 $1,085 -18%
350Santa Clara, CA $2,840 $2,314 -19%
351Warwick, RI $1,360 $1,107 -19%
352Seattle, WA $2,100 $1,700 -19%
353Irvine, CA $2,300 $1,860 -19%
354Fall River, MA $1,100 $889-19%
355Santa Ana, CA $1,770 $1,421 -20%
356Santa Rosa, CA $1,820 $1,456 -20%
357Lawrence, MA $1,320 $1,046 -21%
358El Monte, CA $1,500 $1,179 -21%
359Chicago, IL $1,610 $1,259 -22%
360Sugar Land, TX $1,600 $1,249 -22%
361Ontario, CA $1,500 $1,167 -22%
362Aurora, IL $1,320 $1,027 -22%
363San Marcos, CA $1,820 $1,404 -23%
364Lowell, MA $1,500 $1,156 -23%
365Boston, MA $2,500 $1,925 -23%
366Orange, CA $2,050 $1,571 -23%
367Pasadena, CA $2,430 $1,858 -24%
368San Mateo, CA $3,220 $2,460 -24%
369Hillsboro, OR $1,410 $1,075 -24%
370Pompano Beach, FL $1,600 $1,213 -24%
371Fort Lauderdale, FL $2,000 $1,505 -25%
372San Jose, CA $2,590 $1,937 -25%
373Richmond, CA $1,790 $1,327 -26%
374Burbank, CA $2,260 $1,675 -26%
375Berkeley, CA $3,000 $2,221 -26%
376Carson, CA $1,900 $1,360 -28%
377Miami Beach, FL $2,800 $1,974 -29%
378Hayward, CA $2,110 $1,476 -30%
379Pasadena, TX $1,240 $866-30%
380Danbury, CT $1,950 $1,352 -31%
381Alhambra, CA $2,100 $1,441 -31%
382Santa Barbara, CA $2,980 $1,990 -33%
383Racine, WI $1,290 $846-34%
384Santa Monica, CA $3,700 $2,368 -36%
385Washington, DC $2,880 $1,776 -38%
386New Rochelle, NY $2,970 $1,766 -41%
387San Francisco, CA $4,750 $2,793 -41%
388Hollywood, FL $2,150 $1,214 -44%
389Palm Coast, FL $1,630 $910-44%
390New York, NY $3,390 $1,669 -51%
391Miami, FL $2,730 $1,336 -51%