Where Renters Get the Most Space for their Money

For renters with growing families or renters who want to stay out from underfoot of their roommates, finding a place that is both large and budget-friendly can be a challenging part of the rental search.

To identify areas with the most spacious and affordable rental units on the market, our economics team analyzed the median rental size and the median rent price per square foot for on-market rental listings in the 50 largest U.S. metro areas.

Nationwide, the median on-market rental unit – including both standalone homes and apartments – is 1,254 square feet, or about the size of eight parking spots. Renters in the U.S. can also expect to spend $1.20 on rent each month for every square foot of space.

After comparing each of the 50 largest metro areas to the national median, we found that renters in Las Vegas and Raleigh, NC, get the most bang for their buck when it comes to choosing a place to live. The median on-market rental in both metros is 1,520 square feet or more (larger than nine parking spots), and the median rent price per square foot is less than $1 per month.

On the flip side, renters in Denver and Boston can expect to get the smallest amount of space for their money. The typical on-market rental unit is smaller in Denver and Boston than in any other market we analyzed, including San Francisco or New York City. Plus, renters in Denver and Boston can still expect to spend more than $2 per square foot on rent each month, making it harder for renters in these areas to maximize their space on a budget.

Here are the top 10 cities where renters can get the most space for their money:

Rank Metro Area Median Rental Size (Sq. Ft) Rent Price Per Sq. Ft
1 Las Vegas, NV 1,525 $0.91
2 Raleigh, NC 1,520 $0.97
3 Buffalo, NY 1,516 $0.84
4 Houston, TX 1,512 $1.05
5 Phoenix, AZ 1,490 $0.99
6 Atlanta, GA 1,483 $0.98
7 Dallas, TX 1,450 $1.14
8 Memphis, TN 1,431 $0.73
9 Orlando, FL 1,410 $1.07
10 Virginia Beach, VA 1,392 $1.06


Here’s how all of the metros, cities and neighborhoods we analyzed stack up: