5 U.S. Suburbs with a Ton of Cheap Apartments for Rent

published Mar 21, 2021
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Americans are flocking to the suburbs — and it’s not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent study by RentCafé, an apartment listing site, shows that U.S. suburbs have boomed over the last five years, with the addition of some 501,600 new rental units nationwide. The study identified 20 suburbs in the country where the most apartments have come onto the market, with towns in the South leading the charge.

As the widespread popularity of remote and hybrid work continues, it’s likely the popularity of the suburbs will continue its upward trend, too. Additionally, many Americans have found that smaller cities and suburbs offer a great deal of opportunities and attractions, all for a much more affordable price tag.

Doug Ressler, manager of business intelligence for Yardi Matrix, RentCafé’s parent company, explains there’s migration happening nationwide, with many people not just heading to the suburbs, but to exurbs, or the more rural towns just beyond the suburbs. And thanks to the increase in the number of available apartments outside of cities, rental costs have dipped, since more inventory can translate to a lower cost of living. 

“Prices have dropped significantly, and they really have allowed for people to increase the square footage,” Reseller says.

Below, find the top five suburbs with lots of availability for renters, per RentCafé’s findings — and scroll down to see all 20 suburbs. 

Frisco, Texas

Number of units added in the last five years: 8,044
Average rent: $1,419 per month

The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area houses nearly as many residents as New York City — though its suburb of Frisco, Texas is a small but mighty locale. With 177,020 residents, Frisco has built 8,044 new apartment units since 2016, spread across 25 new buildings. SkyHouse Frisco Station, opened in the summer of 2019, is currently offering prospective tenants up to eight weeks of free rent.

Realtor Christie Cannon of Keller Williams has seen firsthand Frisco’s steady growth over 20 years.

“Frisco has done a great job of meeting the demand for renters and more apartments with wide offerings, and even high rise apartments,” she says. “As Frisco continues to grow, we will likely see this small town grow even larger.”

She notes the city is ideal for sports fans, home to Dr. Pepper Park, the Dallas Cowboys headquarters, and the soccer training facility, and Toyota Stadium.

McKinney, Texas

Number of units added in the last five years: 4,843
Average rent: $1,315 per month

Situated near both Dallas-Fort Worth and Plano, McKinney has previously been found by U.S. Census Data to be the third-fastest growing city in the U.S. (2017) and the best city to live in nationwide (2014). Now, in 2021 — with a recorded 198,507 residents, up from 161,905 just five years ago — the city is seeing a lot of potential for continued growth, with 4,843 new apartments across 19 buildings.  The Kinstead, for example, offers tenants a pet spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a large coworking space.

And an appeal for thirsty parties: McKinney has a considerate number of vineyards, wineries and breweries, alongside the popular annual Oktoberfest

Credit: Badger13/Shutterstock.com
Chandler, Arizona

Chandler, Arizona

Number of units added in the last five years: 4,805
Average rent: $1,443 per month

The American Southwest has seen a rise to prominence in recent years, with Chandler — just 22 miles outside of Phoenix — leading the pack. The city of 248,631 residents added 4,805 new units to its market over the last five years, amounting to 21 percent of the city’s apartment availability. Most units are spread across 19 new buildings that incorporate outdoor amenities alongside single, two, or three-story buildings. Management at the Arista at Ocotillo have also encouraged tenants to join in on volunteering and donation drives, with an emphasis on supporting local animal rescues.

Realtor Gina Nasta of eXp Realty has worked as an agent in the East Valley of Phoenix for five years and actually moved to Arizona 16 years ago specifically to be in Chandler.

“We have a lot of industry in Chandler — Intel is one of the main hubs, and it continues to grow and bring in a lot of employees and international relocators,” she says.

As the industry grows, so do the local businesses, including restaurants, art galleries, and local shops. “It’s easily one of the fastest-growing areas in East Valley — it’s still growing,” she adds. 

Spring Valley, Nevada

Number of units added in the last five years: 4,559
Average rent: $1,226 per month

“Viva Las Vegas” takes on a whole new meaning with the updates to the gambling city’s suburb, Spring Valley. A community of 199,722 residents just 10 miles outside of Las Vegas, Spring Valley offers prospective newcomers the joys of a residential area close to a big city. The region has added 4,559 new apartments across 17 buildings since 2016, which offer communal spaces that frame views of the surrounding desert. 

The Mercer — a four-story apartment community — has emphasized its resort qualities for prospective tenants, including a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse with an exercise facility, theater, and conference room.

Fun fact: Spring Valley residents include tennis pros and couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, the Sultan of Brunei, and comedian Carrot Top.

Farmers Branch, Texas

Number of units added in the last five years: 3,788
Average rent: $1,476 per month

To round out the top five, the Dallas County suburb of Farmers Branch serves just 35,552 residents. Over the last five years, the area has almost doubled the number of available apartment units with 3,788 new units across 11 new buildings. The Brickyard takes the lead with walk-up apartments and townhomes, views of the canal, and plenty of brick exteriors. And for outdoorsy folks, Farmers Branch is nicknamed the “City in the Park,” with a grand total of 28 parks across 12 square miles.

Ressler explains the pandemic led to landlords and property managers offering renter concessions, in some cases with a 20 percent discount on up-front costs. While these concessions may not last long-term, they could impact the suburbs and their nearby metropolitan neighbors further in the coming years.

“Developers and owners alike are trying to react to the issue of affordability,” he says. “The less restrictive cities in terms of their zoning ordinances can meet the costs that renters need.”

You can see the full list of the 20 booming suburbs for renters here.