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Last updated: August 3, 2021 • Real Estate Investing

Cities With the Most Renters

Here’s a heady truth: most millennials are renters. In contrast to the generations that came before them, millennials are far more likely to be short on cash and less likely to own their own homes. Of course, everyone needs a place to stay, a roof over their head and a place to feel safe. So how do millennials meet these needs? They rent! 

It’s not a bad solution either; renting has a lot of benefits when compared to buying a home, and these benefits aren’t lost on millennials. As a renter, you have the freedom to move at any time, less financial overhead, and the added bonus of having issues with the rental repaired or otherwise addressed by your landlord. 

There are downsides too, obviously. Renting offers no investment value, can be as costly or more costly than a monthly mortgage payment, and you’re often limited when it comes to making modifications to the property, aesthetic or otherwise. At the end of the day, renters live on property owned by someone else. 

Considering the fact that there are more renters now than ever, this fact begs the question “which cities have the most renters?” It’s common knowledge that some cities have more renters than others, but which cities come out on top as the rental city kings? If you’ve come here asking this (admittedly somewhat silly) question, we’ve got answers: keep reading to find out more! 

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What makes a city renter-friendly?

Happy couple sharing a romantic moment

Before we can look at which cities have the most renters, however, we need to go a little deeper and figure out what makes a city attractive to renters. It stands to reason that the cities which are most heavily populated by renters are those in which it’s easiest and cheapest to rent, right? Well… it’s a bit more complicated than that. 

You see, most people view renting as a secondary or tertiary option after purchasing a home outright or with a mortgage. Most people would rather own their home than live in someone else’s, and this leads to rentals being the cheaper, more economical option in most cases. However, in certain cities (such as those with unusually high population densities) this has had an intriguing affect on the rental market. 

In these cities, you’ll find that it’s actually far more expensive to rent than in other cities, in spite of the fact that rent is not the most desirable option available. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this phenomenon, but the most applicable is supply and demand; where there are a lot of people, there is a lot of demand for housing. 

As a result of this, you’ll find two types of cities populated primarily by renters: those with high demand for housing but limited supply, and those that directly or indirectly incentivise renting. As for the latter, these incentives can range from publicly funded housing projects to privately owned but government subsidized programs aimed at lowering rent costs. We’ll look at a few cities from both of these categories today, so without further ado let’s get into it! 

Houston, Texas 

Skyline of Houston TX

The city of Houston is a bit of an odd duck among its sister metropolises. While it has a sizable population of over 2.3 million residents, its median home price is substantially lower than the national average. In such a large city, you’d expect real estate to sell for a hefty premium, but such just isn’t the case in the city of Houston. So why is Houston so popular among renters? Let’s find out! 

In this city’s case, the large renter demographic is attributable more to the state of the real estate market than it is to any particular characteristics on the part of the individuals who reside in rented homes and apartments. Real estate in Houston is dirt cheap compared to other large cities, yet the housing market is booming. For enterprising real estate investors this means one thing and one thing only: huge profits! 

Landlords and investors abound here in Houston. From small-time property owners looking to turn their landlord side hustle into a full time job to big investors making millions, this city has droves of entrepreneurs looking to turn the advantageous state of the city’s real estate market into a quick profit. With demand for housing this high, they can count on seeing that profit keep rolling in! 

If you’d like to get in on this prime real estate market, you’ll need to get in touch with the real estate agents in Houston TX. These skilled, experienced real estate professionals know exactly what to look for when helping their clients find property, regardless whether those clients are aspiring landlords or just humble homebuyers. Give them a call; you won’t be sorry you did! 

San Francisco, California

San Francisco at sunset

Another booming rental market is that of San Francisco, CA. The reason that this real estate market is so highly favoured by renters is much simpler than that which is the case in the city of Houston; the median home price in San Francisco is upwards of 1 million dollars! With real estate prices this high, it makes a lot of sense for most average residents to choose a rental instead of a depreciating asset like a home. 

As you might imagine, the hefty median home price makes renting the only viable option for average income earners. This has resulted in the creation of a thriving rental market, in which investors gladly profit off of the disproportionately high real estate prices. For students, families and singles, this means that moving to San Francisco will almost invariably involve a rental property of some sort. 

While the median home price in the city of San Francisco is substantially higher than the national average, the median monthly rent price is all but reasonable when compared to other similarly sized cities in the state and across the country. While they still aren’t anything approaching affordable, rentals in the city of San Francisco are not so expensive that they are completely out of reach for the average person. 

For those who would like to learn more about the rental market in the city, the real estate agents in San Francisco CA are more than willing to share their immense knowledge. These skilled, experienced professionals are your best choice when it comes to finding a reasonably priced apartment or even a home. 

Miami, Florida 

Miami beach aerial view

When it comes to having a good time, no other place can compare to the city of Miami FL, the party capital of the world. Whether you’re looking to go to a music festival, a rave, a concert or all three, Miami is the place for you. As it just so happens, Miami is also one of the most rent-friendly cities in the United States as well! 

Miami has in the past been lauded as one of the cleanest cities in the United States, with one of the best public hygiene programs in the country. Things are also impressive from an ecological point of view; with extensive incentives for eco-friendly homes and apartments, the city is one of the greenest in the world! 

For renters, this results in a uniquely appealing environment in which renting isn’t just the most budget friendly option; it’s also the most eco-friendly! Rental properties in Miami are, on average, significantly more likely to be eco-friendly than those in other cities across the country, and are more budget friendly as a result. If you’re in position to move to Miami, you’d be well advised in doing so! 

If you’d like to make this beautiful city your home, you’ll want to get in touch with one of the realtors in Miami FL. These skilled experienced real estate professionals will help you find a rental that suits your needs and your budget in the least amount of time possible. Before you know it, you might be calling the city of Miami home! 

New York City, NY

New York City from the air

Rounding out this list, we’ve got a city where most residents are renters, not by choice but by necessity: the city of New York. This thriving metropolis is one of the most notorious sellers markets in the country, with property values that are simply through the roof. In such a city, there’s very little that the average person can do besides rent. 

With an average rent price of over $3,500, New York is the last city you’d want to rent in. Even at this price, rental properties are few and far between, and many of the available apartments are far below the level of quality you’d expect from such pricey accommodations. This being the case, it’s a bit perplexing why there are so many renters in this city. 

If you do manage to find a decent rental at a good cost in the city of New York, you may be able to find a roommate in order to reduce the overall monthly rent costs. This is something that many New York renters take advantage of, but it isn’t for everyone. Having a roommate has its own set of unique downsides, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether or not you take a roommate. 

Despite the many downsides of living in New York City, this place is romanticized by some and these hopeless romantics won’t take no for an answer. If you’re one of those people, you’ll want to get in touch with the local real estate agents in New York City. These skilled, experienced real estate professionals will do their best to find you a rental that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. With their help, you’ve got a good chance of finding just that! 


There are a lot of different reasons why you might want to know which cities are populated to the greatest extent by renters. Maybe you want to move to a new city and you anticipate renting. Maybe you’re trying to get your landlord career off the ground and you’re looking for a good market. Whatever the case may be, we hope we’ve been of some help! 


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