It’s no secret that renters like having the flexibility to relocate. But it might come as a surprise to discover that 64% of tenants in the US have plans to move. This makes it all-change in US rentals with favoured destinations in Sunbelt states such as Florida and Texas.
A recent survey by Apartment List for 24,000 renters in the US reveals that almost two-thirds of them plan to move. Many of them intend long-distance relocation while others are content to stay put in their current metro area or state.
Top spots for US rentals
Favoured locations for US rentals are the Sunbelt states of Arizona, Florida and Texas. Two Texan metros, San Antonio and Houston, rank among the top five favoured destinations for US rentals. 45% of renters in San Antonio are “happy to stay”, a percentage that is just slightly lower (44%) in Houston.
Apartment List claims that Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa, all in Florida, are “desirable locations for renters to settle down”. And for renters looking to move to a new state, the cities of Los Angeles, Washington DC and Atlanta feature as the top three most desirable in the country.
Reasons for moving
Job opportunities rank as the top motivation to move. In Rust Belt metro areas such as Detroit, Milwaukee and Cleveland, around 80% of renters say they plan to relocate in search of better employment.
The affordability of US rentals counts as another major reason for relocation. This is particularly true of metro areas on the East Coast and West Coast where high rents price many people out of the market. San Francisco, New York and Miami rank as the cities with the most affordability issues – some 63% of renters claim that high rental rates are the reason behind their move.
However, it isn’t just the big coastal cities in the US with affordability issues. Apartment List also points to inland metro areas with rising rents. In Denver and Austin, for example, rental properties have seen prices rise by 50% in the decade to 2015. However, affordability isn’t such a problem in US rentals located in South and Midwest metro areas.
Paradoxically, metro areas with strong employment opportunities are often those with high rental rates. While Los Angeles, Washington and Seattle all have excellent job markets, rental property in these cities attracts some of the highest rates in the country.
Other reasons to move
While job opportunities and affordability stand out as the main motivation for renters to move, Apartment List also cites several others. Safety features as a reason for relocation for 8% of those in the survey. Commute time and the weather both count for 7% of renters interviewed.
With even lower importance are factors such as the quality of local schools with just 3% prioritising this. The same percentage claim that parks and entertainment are the main reason to look for a rental property elsewhere.
Priorities for renters
The conclusions of the survey point to US rentals in locations that tick two main boxes. A strong job market ranks as the priority for most when looking for new accommodation. Being able to afford rental rates in the location comes a close second.
The survey points out that as rentals continue to rise in many metro areas across the country, renters may be looking for areas that offer the tandem of jobs and affordability.