Migration Situation: 4 Great Places Where Renters are Relocating in 2022


Rent has been getting more expensive recently, especially in major cities throughout the country. One benefit to so many people still working remotely is the freedom many renters have to relocate to areas that are a little less expensive but still close to the metropolises they know and love. Here are four cities that are seeing an influx of renters thanks to some great perks and great locations.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia is a popular destination for vacationers, home to more than 425,000 residents, and the location of three military bases. One of its biggest draws is its beach, which holds the record as the longest pleasure beach in the world.

Compared to the median income, rent in Virginia Beach has remained relatively low, and the location can’t be beaten, with proximity to beaches, wildlife preserves, and recreation. The city is vibrant, boasting a rich history, booming culinary scene, and diverse arts and entertainment.

The coastal city is desirable for renters with discerning taste in its amenities. Over 65% of all rental properties in the city have onsite gyms and in-unit washers and dryers, and nearly 40% offer pools. It’s no wonder the city was listed among the Best Cities for Renters in 2022 by Forbes Advisor.

Irvine, California

Another city that’s great for renters in on the country’s other coast. Irvine certainly isn’t the least expensive city for renters, with rent costing about 35% of the median income, but its location is tough to beat.

Centrally located between Los Angeles and San Diego, Irvine offers renters the ability to be close to the bustle of major metropolises without getting lost in the shuffle. The area’s climate is also highly desirable, remaining temperate most of the year and boasting lots of sunny days. This may be one of the reasons the city has been ranked among the happiest cities in America.

While renters can find lots of available amenities among the available apartments, such as onsite gyms (82%) and in-unit washers and dryers (52%), one of the best perks is probably the fact that 89% of all the city’s residents live within a 10-minute walk to a public park.

Gilbert, Arizona

Once known as “The Hay Capital of the World,” Gilbert, Arizona, has grown to make a name for itself for more than hay. In fact, the city was a finalist in the 2022 IDC Smart Cities Awards, and in the last five years, there’s been a 52% increase in rental units, thanks partly to a recent building boom. This also means that most of the apartments in the area are new or recently renovated.

In-unit washers and dryers are standard in the city, with 95% of all rentals offering them, and many properties are pet-friendly and have on-site pools. A less tangible amenity is the low cost of the rent. While Gilbert’s rent is relatively low compared to similar cities, residents enjoy the highest median income outside of California (among the 93 cities Forbes Advisor analyzed).

Plano, Texas

While Plano ranks among the top 10 best cities for first-time homebuyers, renters definitely love this city too. This comes as no surprise to Westwood, as our colleagues at our Plano office already know how great the city is! Renters in Plano enjoy more spacious apartments when compared to other major cities, and on average, they spend less on rent.

Ranking among the top bike-friendly cities and the top 50 healthiest cities, Plano is a great place to be in its own right, but the apartments in the area also have a lot to offer. There are also many great amenities, with 98% of rental units allowing pets, 93% offering an onsite gym, and most apartments boasting new or renovated kitchens.

Whether you’re relocating for work or a warmer climate, be sure to check with Westwood to be sure you’re covered with renters insurance. Even if you’ve been renting in the same apartment for years, Westwood might be able to find you new options and endorsements to address any changes in your circumstances or to apply potential discounts. Call your agent today to see if you’ve got the best price for the right coverage.

Please Note: This article is for general informational and educational purposes only. It does not represent any specific insurance policy and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions of any current policy.