Where to Rent: These Are the Most In-Demand Cities in the US

Want to know where to rent? Here are the cities that gained popularity in June.

California suburbs at night from a drone point of view
(Image credit: Getty IMages)

Deciding where to rent is a growing issue as more of us turn to renting as an alternative to buying a home.

In light of rent prices that are too high, inflation and the soaring cost of living, many people are seeking attractive hidden-gem locations around the country, according to RentCafe.com.

Here’s the lowdown on where to rent, based on RentCafe.com’s list of rental activity hotspots. 

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Where to rent in 2023

Kansas City, MO, comes out on top as the most desired city by renters. In fact, it has held on to first place in RentCafe's top 30 for the past two months. Apartment listings in Kansas City and runner-up Overland Park, KS saw the most engagement this month, with high rates of rental properties saved to favorites, personalized searches, scarce unit availability and overall high listing views.

Kansas City apartment listings attracted twice as many views compared to a year ago, while the number of saved personalized searches tripled within that timeframe, indicating a “clear determination to move” among prospective renters, the research shows.

Fellow midwestern hotspot, Overland Park, jumped 78 places to make it to the number two slot. Favorited apartments jumped ninefold compared to a year prior, and viewed 27% more listings.

Here are RentCafe's top 10 cities for rental activity in June:

  1. Kansas City, MO
  2. Overland Park, KS
  3. Minneapolis, MN
  4. Cincinnati, OH
  5. Albuquerque, NM
  6. Detroit, MI
  7. Atlanta, GA
  8. Orlando, FL
  9. Arlington, VA
  10. Raleigh, NC

Big cities still appeal

The RentCafe.com study reveals that suburban cities located right outside major rental and job hubs are rising in popularity as renters seek more flexibility and affordability. 

Elsewhere in the country, popular inner-city hubs remain popular and have avoided the flow of workers seeking more space in the suburbs. New York City boroughs the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan lead in the Northeast, alongside major hubs Boston and Philadelphia. 

The Bronx neighborhood climbed three spots to 14th place in the overall list of rental hotspots. The number of available listings in NYC’s largest borough decreased by 46% compared to one year ago, indicating high rental demand. RentCafe.com’s data shows the area is getting a lot of attention from renters — apartment listing views rose by nearly 50% from last June. 

Manhattan slid from its top five spot just two months ago, all the way to 33rd place. Yet the borough is still popular despite affordability issues.

Are rents finally dropping in the US? 

Recently published data suggest rents rises are finally leveling off after a year of steady increases. Double-digit rent increases from October 2021 through August 2022 severely dented many renters’ ability to save for a home of their own, while others were forced to relocate or downsize. Higher costs due to inflation were a primary driver of rising rents, with landlords passing on higher mortgage costs to tenants, while a shortage of rental properties exacerbated the issue.

Rent.com reports showed that despite May registering the first price decline in more than three years, yearly prices rose again in June. Month over month, prices grew by 1.72 percent from May to June to $2,029 showing it's still a tough market for renters.

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Tom Higgins

Tom is a journalist and writer with an interest in sustainability, economic policy and pensions, looking into how personal finances can be used to make a positive impact. He graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a BA in journalism before moving to a financial content agency. His work has appeared in titles Investment Week and Money Marketing, as well as social media copy for Reuters and Bloomberg in addition to corporate content for financial giants including Mercer, State Street Global Advisors and the PLSA. He has also written for the  Financial Times Group.

When not working out of the Future’s Cardiff office, Tom can be found exploring the hills and coasts of South Wales but is sometimes east of the border supporting Bristol Rovers.