The most affordable apartments in metropolitan cities can be hard to come by. Affordability may mean having to live further away from walkable parts of the city or close to a park. With the pandemic and workers being at home, rental markets in large cities have been impacted. Rent prices have fallen slightly, by 0.4 percent, month over month, and the national rent now down 1.5 percent.
The pandemic has caused a shift in rental markets in 2020, with expensive cities like San Francisco and New York City continuing to see rent prices drop, while more traditionally affordable cities like Boise are seeing prices rise.
Located in Guilford County, Greensboro, NC, a family-friendly city with many young professionals, is one of the best places to live in North Carolina. Mostly suburban, Greensboro offers residents restaurants, parks and a strong public school system.
The city has a science center, museum, and strong ties to American history, with the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park's display of the American Revolution.
The capital of Colorado, Denver is a popular place for young families, professionals and anyone who enjoys the outdoors. The nearby Rocky Mountains provide plenty of hiking and skiing for residents.
While the cost of living in Denver is still relatively affordable, the price to live in Denver has gone up over the years due to out-of-state people moving and causing the rental and home prices to jump.
Memphis is known for its rich musical history — soul and rock 'n' roll are ingrained in the cultural vibe of the second-largest city in Tennessee. Memphis is an affordable place to live. The city's cost of living is 18 percent lower than the citywide average. It's a family-friendly place with great schools and incredible barbecue.
It's also home to Beale Street, which offers a fun place to soak in live music. Memphis has stellar weather, too, with more sunny days each year than Miami.
Plano is one of the most affluent cities in the U.S. and ranks fifth in the best places to live report. The town, which sits 20 miles outside of Dallas, is home to a leading arts district, large metropolitan area, entertainment and shopping. The town is also accessible by light rail.
Plano is also a great place to do business, as are many top companies headquartered there, including Intuit, Bank of America, Ericsson, McAfee, Frito-Lay and Pizza Hut.
Located outside of San Francisco and about a half-hour north of San Jose, Fremont is a mostly suburban area and is one of the best places to live in the U.S. Its proximity to the city makes it an ideal place for workers who need to be close to the office. The city has strong public schools and offers a mix of culture, beautiful scenery and lots to do, including great restaurants, coffee shops and parks.
Known for being the birthplace of rock n' roll legend Buddy Holly, Lubbock, TX, has deep roots in agricultural and military history.
Living in Lubbock means you can take advantage of the city's many parks, golf courses and wineries. The town is known for being a hub city in the South Plains area, with its walk of fame, museums and annual music festival.
Situated on Florida's gulf coast, Saint Petersburg is known for its beautiful, award-winning beaches and comfortable weather. The beach-side city makes it a popular destination for outdoor activities like golf, fishing and hanging on the beach.
The city's world-renowned Salvator Dali Museum features the largest collection of Dali's work outside of Spain. There's also Fort De Soto Park, named Best Beach for Families by USA Today in 2014, sits right on the ocean and offers canoeing, fishing, biking and a historic fort. Downtown St. Petersburg is also a popular place to do some shopping and check out restaurants and cafes.
Boise, the capital city of Idaho, is a popular place people are flocking to. It's one of the fastest-growing in the U.S., attracting transplants from California, Washington and Oregon because of its comparatively low cost of living, growing tech scene and easy access to nature.
Named one of the best places to live for Millennials in 2019, Boise is a comfortable place for families and outdoor enthusiasts because of the tree-lined trails and parks that follow the Boise River Greenbelt.
Sitting on the western corner of Lake Erie, Toledo is an attractive place for families to live because of its high-quality schools and kid-friendly activities. The town has a museum of art, zoo, aquarium and its downtown offers riverfront views, music venues and plenty of local restaurants. Like Boise, Toledo offers a low cost of living and a wealth of outdoor activities.
Long Beach is a central place to live in Southern California and is close to many beaches. Since it's only a half-hour drive from L.A., Long Beach has a growing and diverse community of artisans, young professionals and hipsters.
Probably best known for being the home to the Queen Mary, which has been docked there since 1967, Long Beach has mild, year-round weather which makes it an ideal place to live. Long Beach is also dog-friendly —Rosie's Beach on Ocean Boulevard is the perfect place for Fido to run around.
Curious about seeing more cities on this list? Check out the top 25 cities with affordable two-bedrooms.
|Rank||City||Population||Units Below Average Rent|
|1||Long Beach, CA||462,628||92.87%|
|4||St. Petersburg, FL||265,351||72.92%|
|13||Oklahoma City, OK||655,057||66.45%|
|17||Los Angeles, CA||3,979,576||64.74%|
|19||St. Paul, MN||308,096||63.92%|
|22||San Diego, CA||1,423,851||63.16%|
|25||Colorado Springs, CO||478,221||62.65%|
Based on the data gathered, these are the cities with the least affordable two-bedrooms. Surprisingly, rents in pricey coastal cities such as L.A. and New York City didn't make the cut, which may indicate that rent prices continue to fall, as people migrate out of large cities in search of more reasonable rents.
The shift in the rental market has proven to be interesting and surprising, as the cities on this list were probably not what you expected.
|Rank||City||Population||Units Below Average Rent|
The rental market has shifted due to the pandemic, so traditionally expensive cities are dropping their rents, while more suburban cities have become pricier. Searching for the most affordable apartments may mean relocating since many workers are now fully remote.
Spend time researching how liveable each city is. Start with a list of what's important to you and what fits in your budget.
To come up with our list, Apartment Guide looked at the average price of a two-bedroom apartment in cities with a population of more than 100,000. Then, we determined the number of available units that are priced below the citywide average for that unit size. We determined the cities with the highest percentage of two-bedrooms that are cheaper than the average to be the places with the most affordable two-bedroom apartments.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com's multifamily rental property inventory of two-bedroom apartments. We pulled our data in December 2020, and it goes back for one year. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
We excluded cities with insufficient inventory from this report.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.