Property Grunt

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Top 25 rental friendly cities: We're number 89! Awesome!

I just got this press release from Jeremy over at ApartmentRatings which present the list of the 25 renter friendly markets in America. New York did break the top 25. Hell, New York didn't even make top 50. We are number 89. Awriggght! Next time we should shoot for 100. Houston is 39. That might go up considering the influx of evacuees. New Orleans is ranked 75 which is understandable.

Below is the link to the full study which also includes the methodology.
I think what I find intriguing is this aspect of the study.

The PMI Score is from PMI Group's Risk Index published 4/27/2005. This score rates the "likelihood of home price declines over the next two years" using PMI Group's proprietary model. Examining the best cities for renters in combination with the PMI risk index is helpful for prospective home buyers-- a renter in a favorable market with a high PMI risk index may wish to delay their purchase of a home to avoid buying at the peak of the market. It is also interesting to note that many of the worst markets for renters are rated as the most at-risk to decline. One possible conclusion is that in markets where renting is unfavorable, consumers respond by rapidly bidding up the price of houses, leading to bubble-like conditions that earn a high PMI risk index score. However, conclusions regarding the relationship between the renting market and home buying market should be rigorously tested due to strong correlation of various explanatory variables that affect both markets.

What do you think folks?

Nation’s Growing Mid-Sized Communities Among Most Renter-Friendly; Study Reveals Top 25 Cities

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- It's the age-old dilemma for young families, those just starting out and even empty nesters: buy a home or rent? Thanks to declining interest rates and a hot housing market, even die-hard renters have been tempted to buy. But with mortgage interest rates rising, many would-be homebuyers sense that buying a home right now may not be their best decision. However, one question remains: where does renting make the most sense?

Results of a new study from indicate that people interested in renting will find some of the most renter-friendly communities in the nation's fastest growing and mid-sized cities, such as Corpus Christi, Grand Rapids, Raleigh, Portland (Oregon) and Salt Lake City. This is good news for anyone waiting for the housing market to cool off or looking to enjoy the benefits of an apartment lifestyle.

According to Jeremy Bencken, founder and president of, renting may be logical, particularly for people who do not plan to stay for a long time in a community or can't afford to buy in a highly-desirable neighborhood. Additionally, renting an apartment often fits busy lifestyles, as most communities cover all maintenance, and many offer amenities designed to make a renter's life less complicated. is an independent forum for renters to share the unvarnished truth about their apartments. More than eight million renters use the site, which has more than 280,000 unique reviews and covers about 50,000 properties across the United States. Using satisfaction information from thousands of renters, combined with information from the U.S. Census Bureau about apartment vacancy rates and affordability, the study analyzed and created a renter's livability and satisfaction index for 95 U.S. cities and ranked them against each other.

"These great communities offer an abundance of opportunities for families and individuals as well as high levels of satisfaction among apartment renters," said Bencken. "For many, having a home doesn't necessarily mean owning a house. It's great to know that there are extremely livable communities out there that are especially favorable for renters."

Not surprisingly, some larger cities such as New York, San Francisco and Boston -- areas often plagued by high rents and high occupancy -- ranked near the bottom of the list. Bencken said that one of the reasons that the large metros didn't fare as well as their mid-size counterparts is that these housing markets are often stable and tight, resulting in more competition among renters for prime properties. In mid-sized cities, where the supply of housing has grown faster than the population, landlords have to work overtime to attract and retain the best renters.

The list:

1 Raleigh, NC

2 Ann Arbor, MI

3 Fort Wayne, IN

4 Grand Rapids, MI

5 Kalamazoo, MI

6 Athens, GA

7 Lansing, MI

8 Sarasota, FL

9 Charleston, SC

10 Salt Lake City, UT

11 Killeen, TX

12 College Station, TX

13 Greensboro, NC

14 Indianapolis, IN

15 Corpus Christi, TX

16 Oklahoma City, OK

17 Omaha, NE

18 Kansas City, MO

19 Davis, CA

20 Knoxville, TN

21 Portland, OR

22 Atlanta, GA

23 Greenville, SC

24 Cleveland, OH

25 Chicago, IL

For the full list of 95 cities, scores and rankings by satisfaction, affordability and vacancy, see: