Where Renters Want To Move, And Where They Want To Leave

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October 27, 2016

Nashville, Tenn., is hot. And that’s not just counting the weather or the city’s famous fried chicken.

Through analysis of renter profiles, Zillow ranked the appeal of the top 50 cities in the U.S. for renters. Nashville had the largest share of renters from other areas that wanted to move in. Other desirable cities include Raleigh, N.C., Portland, Ore., and Denver. A combination of affordable rent, available jobs, and cultural appeal earned these cities a high rank.

On the other side, renters were seeking to move away from cities like Hartford, Conn., Virginia Beach, Va., and Baltimore, Md. And some cities appeared on both lists.

High-churn markets like San Francisco, San Jose, New York and Washington, D.C., are accustomed to a steady population inflow and outflow. People come and go, and turnover itself can contribute to rising prices as each turnover is a new opportunity for landlords to reset the price of a unit to current market rates. The challenge for rental markets like Seattle, Portland and Denver is different. Would-be newcomers are chasing a pool of available units that might be bigger if only existing residents would move out. But since those existing residents are staying put, the supply of rental units is smaller and rents themselves have nowhere to go but up.

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