Survey Highlights Rent Differences in Top-Rated & Low-Rated Areas...And What Renters Will Pay to Live in an Ideal Location



A recent RentCafė survey shows that while many corporations have moved to urban centers to lure high-quality workers and talent, a high percentage of those surveyed indicated that they cannot live in their preferred location: near work, namely due to cost. The RentCafė survey shed light on the rental rate disparity between top-rated and low-rated areas in the country's major cities. BAM breaks down what the RentCafė numbers show and where rent differs most.


Proximity to Job is Paramount


One factor that stood out immediately from the survey is that no one likes a long commute, which isn't exactly surprising. According to the RentCafė info, more than dining, entertainment, and even friends or family, the majority of renters cited distance to their job as what could make up an “ideal location.” The flip side to that is that of the two thousand participants surveyed by RentCafė, a scant 17% are actually living in what they'd consider an ideal location. The major factor inhibiting renters from making the leap to where they want to live from where they actually do call home all comes down to cost, according to the survey.


Willing to Pay More?


For the survey respondents not living in their ideal areas, the survey asked if, or by how much, they'd be willing to increase monthly rent to get that improved address. The results:


16.4% - weren't willing to pay any more per month

43.2% - would pay a maximum of only $100 more a month

18.9% - would pay between $100-$250 per month

4.4% - would pay between $250-$500 a month

.5% - would be willing to increase rent by $500 a month


Some Cities' Stats


In five major cities, renters pay over 50% more for a top-rated area. Chicago is at the #1 spot with a 79% difference in rental price between top-rated and low-rated areas. St. Louis is a close second with 63.5% and Philadelphia takes third place with a 58.8% difference. Large cities landed in the top ten, like Dallas, TX with a 45% rental difference and Los Angeles with 43.8%. The Circle City (Indianapolis) hit the top ten list, coming in at #10 with a 42.8% difference in rates between top- and low-rated rental locations.


A Number of Factors


According to the RentCafė piece, there are numerous factors which likely affect the rental rates and the gap in rates between those in top-rated and those in low-rated areas. Elements like the local job market, job locations, rental demand, transportation, and more all impact the rental rates in different areas.

Elizabeth Wheeler