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These cities have some of the happiest renters in the US

Karen D'Souza, The Mercury News on

Published in Home and Consumer News

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- When you think about renting in the Bay Area you might think of challenges like steep prices, low vacancies and endless apartment hunts. But a new report suggests you might be wrong.

A new study from Zumper, an apartment search platform, suggests that the Bay Area has some of the happiest renters in the country. For the 2019 State of the American Renter report, researchers crunched the numbers on key metrics such as percentage of respondents who thought they were getting a good deal, percentage satisfied with their current living situation and percentage who have lived in their apartment for more than five years. Hometown pride also counted for a lot in this measurement of happiness.

In the end, two major Bay Area cities ranked in the top ten across the nation. Miami nabbed number one in country, but Oakland got second place and San Jose came in fourth. This is despite the high prices that face renters all across the region.

"They were at the top of the list due to their high rankings in the 'duration' category," says Anthemos Georgiades, CEO and co-founder of Zumper. "This means that these two cities had the most renters in the nation who have lived in their apartments for five or more years, signaling an extremely high retention rate."

One possibility for that strong retention rate could be that renters here are more pleased with their digs than renters in other places. Certainly the Bay Area kills it on scenic views. Or it could be that they are content to settle with good enough in a tough rental market, as the study notes.

"It seems once a renter finds an apartment in the Bay Area that he or she are satisfied with," as the report puts it. "It's tough to leave."

Another key factor could be the proximity to San Francisco, one of the most expensive rental markets in the nation, says Georgiades. If you are accustomed to using the city by the bay as your yardstick, then living in Oakland or San Jose may well seem like a bargain by comparison.

 

"Oakland and San Jose rents seem much more affordable," he says. "One can assume renters in the other two cities are more likely to believe they are getting a good deal on rent, which is another factor that contributes to renter happiness."

From a wider lens, California fared well in this ranking with four cities making the cut for the top ten. The rest of the top ten includes Austin, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston, Honolulu, Portland and San Diego.

(c)2019 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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