The Best Cities for Renters in 2020

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With the new year right around the corner, visions of fresh starts are dancing in many people’s heads. It’s true — you’d be hard-pressed to find a better way to start 2020 than by moving into a new apartment. And despite the rumblings of housing shortages across the nation, there are still a select few cities around the country that have thousands of new apartments ready to welcome tenants.

Over 2019 and 2020, over 600,000 new units are expected to be ready to rent in the US, and these five small-to-medium-sized cities are leading the pack in offering renters the best possible living experience.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

A longtime favorite of college students and one of the largest hubs for cargo and automotive commerce in the entire US, Charleston, South Carolina is ripe for even more economic development in the new decade. In 2019, over 3,600 new apartments opened their doors to new renters, with at least the same number expected to open in 2020. This 5.8 percent increase is right in line with that of Austin, Texas, one of the fastest-growing cities of the past few years. On top of that, the rate of employment growth in Charleston in 2019 was 2.3 percent at mid-year, well above the national average of 1.5 percent. And with tons of new retail and office construction on the rise in this lovely port city with sweeping views, it seems like there’s no better time to make the move and enjoy a lovely new apartment here.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Move over, Denver — there’s a new city in your state on the rise. Colorado Springs, a smaller city near the foot of the Rocky Mountains, experienced a growth rate of 5.0+ percent in 2019, and it’s predicted to have over 4,000 new apartments ready to rent by the end of 2020. With its close proximity to Denver, part of its growth is undeniably the result of commuters paying cheaper rent there to make their Denver salaries that much more appealing. And according to the Colorado State Demography Office, that trend is only expected to keep rising. In fact, they anticipate a 48 percent increase in population in El Paso County by 2050: a whopping increase of around 300,000 inhabitants. If you ever wondered if that Rocky Mountain high was real, now’s the perfect time to find out in a shiny new apartment (and perhaps even a fresh career path).

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

The Blue Grass State has a lot more going for it than horses, Southern hospitality, and breathtaking vistas. The biggest city in Kentucky also now has a slew of new apartments and an economy that’s rising like the morning mist over its rolling hills. Development and economic escalation are also on the rise here, resulting in an expected increase of over 5,000 new apartments by the end of 2020. Even better, those apartments usually range from one to three-bedroom units, so your move will be smooth no matter what size family you have.

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Not to be outdone by sister state South Carolina, Raleigh-Durham has become one of the nation’s best cities for real estate ventures, with a residential rental unit increase of 4.4 percent in 2019 and an equal or higher boost anticipated for 2020. The city not only boasts some of the country’s best education centers and an abundance of extremely skilled professionals, its expanding economy is also on fire and intensified by an extremely reasonably-priced cost of living. Amazon has created thousands of jobs in Raleigh-Durham, and developers have hustled to ensure every employee there has a nice, affordable place to live. The area is expected to add over 10,000 more new apartments by the end of next year, so start packing.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The Salt Lake City skyline

High on the lists of “fastest-growing cities,” Salt Lake City, Utah is also prominent on lists of “top markets for rent growth.” Employment opportunities continue to rise — many at the University of Utah and surrounding businesses — so developers are hustling to meet the demand by building new apartments all over the city. Reports indicate that the increase in apartment construction is expected to add 8,400 new units by the end of 2020 based on new units completed in 2019.

Uprooting your family or even just yourself to move to a new city can be exciting and prosperous, but to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible, you’ll need to do your homework and plan your new adventure well. Scope out different areas of the new city that are important to your lifestyle such as cultural centers, schools for kids, and proximity to new employment. Explore work opportunities and try to set up a few interviews before you move. Peruse new units online and research comments from new tenants to learn the pros and cons of the local housing market. The more prepared you are, the happier you’ll be when you finally arrive at your new home.

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