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6 States People Are Moving to Due to Lower Rent

Yahoo! Finance

This article originally appeared on Yahoo Finance

By David Nadelle

Most financial experts agree that you should be paying less than one-third of your income towards rent and utilities. But surging housing prices over the past few years have resulted in more than 22.4 million households paying more than 30% in rent — and 12.1 million households paying more than 50% of their income to rent — according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Thanks in part to an upsurge in multi-family building construction, the U.S. rental market has cooled over the past eight months. Across all unit types, the U.S. median rent declined -0.3% for 0-2 bedroom properties across the top 50 metropolitan centers year-over-year as of March, per However, median rent is only $36 cheaper than it was in August 2022.

For many, the cost burden is too much, prompting some to consider moving to another state with the hope of paying less. When it comes to relocating, many American renters are choosing cities that are affordable, but that have other desirable qualities — including pet-friendly rental options, low crime rates and excellent transportation systems.

Weather is also a factor. According to Forbes’ Best Cities For Renters Of 2024 report, many people are lured to states that are cost-friendly and have great weather. It found the top five cities are located in the hot spots of Arizona (Chandler and Gilbert), Nevada (Henderson) and Texas (Plano and Austin), though colder states such as Colorado and Minnesota also made the list.

Some States Are Better (More Affordable) For Renters Than Others

However, there are states that are increasingly popular among renters from a purely financial perspective. Cheap rent can be found throughout the U.S., with Mississippi and Arkansas in the South — and the Dakotas in the Midwest — having some of the most affordable rents in the country. However, West Virginia has the cheapest average rent, according to doxo’s 2024 U.S. Household Bill Pay Report.

Although you can certainly find cheaper median monthly rents elsewhere, those looking to move away due to the strain of paying too much rent should check out the following six states. They all offer a mix of cheap rent prices, low costs of living, more rental availability and low percentages of household income going toward rent, according to Consumer Affairs.

The 6 Best States for Renters

1. North Dakota

  • % of Income on Rent: 25.4%
  • Median Monthly Rent (2-bedroom): $908
  • Vacancy Rate: 9.4%

2. South Dakota

  • % of Income on Rent: 26.5%
  • Median Monthly Rent (2-bedroom): $912
  • Vacancy Rate: 5.8%

3. Iowa

  • % of Income on Rent: 27.9%
  • Median Monthly Rent (2-bedroom): $938
  • Vacancy Rate: 5%

4. Oregon

  • % of Income on Rent: 31.7%
  • Median Monthly Rent (2-bedroom): $1,358
  • Vacancy Rate: 3.7%

5. North Carolina

  • % of Income on Rent: 29.3%
  • Median Monthly Rent (2-bedroom): $1,026
  • Vacancy Rate: 7.5%

6. Wyoming

  • % of Income on Rent: 26.9%
  • Median Monthly Rent (2-bedroom): $904
  • Vacancy Rate: 6.8%