Moving cities in the US could see renters get a 500% apartment space increase

Apartment-seekers in the US are turning to Midwestern and Sunbelt cities to get more living space for their budget, as big cities on the East and West coasts continue to offer less space for a monthly rent of $1,500.

By Alex Summers

According to a new report from Yardi Matrix, Sunbelt and Midwestern cities dominate the top rankings regarding the amount of apartment space available for a $1,500-per-month rental budget. The report covers 200 cities in the US, essentially showing the cheapest rent per square foot, with Wichita, Kansas, topping the list for large cities.

A renter in an apartment in New York
A woman checking her smartphone in a cramped small apartment in New York. The city has some of the smallest apartments for a $1,500 budget in the US. (Photo by Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images)

Other Midwestern cities in the top five include Toledo, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Meanwhile, southern cities such as Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Memphis, Tennessee, also offer more apartment space and, as a result, some of the cheapest rent per square foot in the US.

In addition to offering more space, Midwestern and Sunbelt cities also tend to have lower living costs. This is especially true for Wichita, which has one of the lowest costs of living in the US. In Toledo, a booming economy makes it an attractive spot for young professionals who want to start their own businesses or further their careers in the comfort of their own spacious homes, according to the report.

Which cities have the smallest apartment space for that budget?

Big cities on the East and West coasts, particularly New York, Boston, and San Francisco, perhaps unsurprisingly, continue to offer the least amount of apartment space for the price, with Manhattan being the only area in the nation where renters can get less than 300 square feet of space for $1,500 per month.

apartment size

In fact, most of the cities with the smallest apartments are found along the coasts. Specific regions on the list include Brooklyn and Queens in New York, and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Best college towns to rent in

One trend that the report noted is that 17 of the top 20 urban areas with the most apartment space for $1,500 per month are college towns, including Columbus, Georgia, which offers a sizeable 1,545 square feet of living space for this budget, making it the city with the largest apartments in the nation. McAllen, Texas, also offers plenty of space with 1,471 square feet available for $1,500 per month, while Jackson, Mississippi, Akron, Ohio, and Macon, Georgia, round out the top five on the list.

Overall, the report found that $1,500 per month will get renters an average of 782 square feet of apartment space across the country, with more than 56% of the 200 largest cities in the nation offering more space than this average.

[Read more: New report highlights best US suburbs for city-like livability]

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