It is quite an accomplishment to be featured on a livability list at Livability.com and something that apartment owners should make note of when gauging rental prices and rental housing demand. In the case of the list we are featuring, the 10 best places to raise a family are featured. Assuming most families seek out homes with two to three bedrooms, those will be the focus for each of these ten rental markets. Using the RentHub data for average rental prices and average square feet for apartments, the vast differences of each apartment market can be seen.
The following is a brief description of how Livability.com ranks their cities:
We crunched the data. We looked at the quality of the schools, the crime rate, and measures of the quality of healthcare and economy. We gave points to communities that are walkable, diverse, have lots of parks and active children’s sections in their libraries. We favored communities with shorter commute times (so working parents can be home more and on the road less) and larger populations of other kids to play with.
We will highlight some of these community characteristics that will hopefully help you understand the livable fabric of each.
10. Palo Alto, CA
2 Bedroom – $3,500 per month / 1,100 sf
3 Bedroom – $8,750 per month / 2,324 sf
Palo Alto, CA is home to Stanford University. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the city is a center for Silicon Valley and the highly regarded technology companies that are found there.
Based on the US Census, over 80% of the residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Just over 45% of the households are renter occupied. There are over 66,000 residents, to which +23% are under the age of 18. The median household income is $126,771 (in 2014 dollars). Housing demand in Palo Alto, being driven by university employees and technology sector, along with higher household incomes, are heavy drivers of the apartment market rents here.
9. Bowling Green, OH
2 Bedroom – $665 / 774 sf
3 Bedroom – $782 / 882 sf
The City of Bowling Green, OH is home to Bowling Green State University and the 18,856 students who attend school there. The median age of the city is 23.2 years, with 43.2% of residents being between the ages of 18 to 24. It can be surmised that the student population is the largest driver of demand for apartment rentals and the local economy. A small population found in a central location has presented the city the opportunity to have a walkable downtown with regular customers for the businesses found there. The lower rental rates are better understood when fully realizing the proportion of students that make up the total housing rental market.
8. Homewood, AL
2 Bedroom – $1,045 / 1,093 sf
3 Bedroom – $1,425 / 1,400 sf
A suburb of Birmingham, home to Samford University, Homewood, AL has a total population of 25,708. For a smaller city from this top ten list, Homewood has several parks that helped increase the livability factor. You can also find the Hollywood Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.