Charleston, South Carolina
Adobe Stock Charleston, South Carolina

RentCafe has named Charleston, South Carolina, as the best place for renters to live in 2023.

For its annual rankings, RentCafe analyzed data for nearly 140 cities based on 20 metrics, including the cost of living, the selection and quality of apartments available, occupancy rates, air quality; traffic; the local economy, and opportunities of job growth. All the metrics were given certain weights and were gathered under three main categories: cost of living and housing; local economy; and quality of life.

According to RentCafe, Charleston earns the top spot on the list for renters because of its ideal mix of apartment quality and cost of living. It also scores high in the local economy category, with the city making a name for itself as an emerging tech hub.

“Our data shows that not only are almost half of the households renting, but, with an average of 967 square feet, the size of Charleston apartments is also much larger than the national average,” stated RentCafe. “Coupled with a high job growth rate (5.9%), it’s no wonder that Charleston has been crowned the best city for renters in 2023.”

Runner-up Plano, Texas, receives high scores for the local economy as well as quality of life. Known as the “City of Excellence,” Plano boasts top-notch public schools and is the headquarters for several large companies.

Southern cities dominate RentCafe’s top 50 list, taking up almost half of the list. Three additional Sun Belt markets—Scottsdale, Arizona, which comes in third for quality of life and has the largest share of high-end apartments out of the top 10; Atlanta, which ranks high in terms of cost of living and housing; and Raleigh, North Carolina, which is deemed the second-most educated city in the nation—round out the top five.

“The South is the nation’s best region for renters with 36 of the top 50 spots in our ranking,” noted RentCafe. “With both larger renter hot spots—such as Miami and Orlando, Florida—as well as smaller markets, such as Plano; Asheville, North Carolina; and Birmingham, Alabama, on the list, renters have a choice between big-city atmosphere or small-town magic.”

Other highlights on RentCafe’s rankings:

  • Conroe, Texas, scores the highest when it comes to cost of living and housing, with larger-than-average apartments and the majority being high-end;
  • Sunnyvale, California, ranks highest for both local economy and quality of life;
  • Denver and Westminster, Colorado, stand out as two of the best places to live in the West, scoring high in terms of local economy and cost of living and housing;
  • In the Northeast, Stamford, Connecticut, takes the 33rd spot nationwide with high rankings in local economy and quality of life; and
  • Minneapolis and Ann Arbor, Michigan, are leaders in the Midwest. Minneapolis ranks 12th nationwide for the cost of living and housing, while Ann Arbor ranks 19th and 16th for local economy and quality of life, respectively.