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Study: Seattle, Tacoma Rank at Bottom of Best Places to Rent

By meerna Jul11,2024
Study: Seattle, Tacoma Rank at Bottom of Best Places to Rent

Can you imagine paying only 15% of your income on rent? If you don’t mind living in Bismarck, ND, that dream could come true.

It will come as no surprise that this isn’t the case in Seattle or Tacoma.

“Despite a vibrant job market and an attractive quality of life, high rent costs (in Seattle) make housing inaccessible to many people,” Cassandra Happe, an analyst at personal finance site WalletHub, told MyNorthwest.

More than 55% of Seattle’s apartments are occupied by renters, which means the city’s vacancy rate is 4.9%.

“In stark contrast, Tacoma ranks much lower, at 179th, making it one of the worst cities for renters,” Happe said. “Tacoma’s affordability issues are even more pronounced because rent costs consume a larger share of residents’ incomes and renters have fewer safety features and amenities than other cities.”

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Safety is also a major concern in Tacoma, which is considered one of the most dangerous cities for renters. This further reduces its overall attractiveness as a rental market.

All of this data is part of a study released this week by personal finance site WalletHub. To determine the best local rental markets, WalletHub compared 182 cities — including the 150 most populous cities in the U.S., as well as at least the two most populous cities in each state — on two key dimensions: “Rental Market & Affordability” and “Quality of Life.”

In addition to Bismarck, the top 10 cities included (in order): Overland Park, Kan.); Scottsdale, Arizona; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Lewison, Maine; Chandler, Arizona; Fargo, North Dakota; Gilbert, Arizona; Huntsville, Alabama; and Lincoln, Nebraska.

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Tacoma ranked 179th out of 182 metro areas surveyed. Seattle was 140th.

In addition to Tacoma, the bottom five cities, in order from worst, include Memphis, Tennessee; Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; and Jackson, Mississippi.

Two other cities in Washington state also made the list: Spokane (128th) and Vancouver (169th).

“In summary, while both cities (Seattle and Tacoma) offer unique features and opportunities, Seattle offers a better quality of life and job market for those who can afford it,” Happe said. “Whereas Tacoma poses greater challenges in terms of safety and affordability.”

To see the full report and your city’s position in the ranking, you can view the list here.

Bill Kaczaraba is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here. Follow Bill on X, formerly known as Twitter, Here and email him here.

By meerna

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