Wallet-conscious renters are finding deals in warm places.
We found that in some of the most popular spots for recent movers — sunny Florida and Arizona dominate the list — rent prices are often below the national median.
Jasen Edwards, a realtor and real estate consultant in Austin, TX, with 25 years in the business, says apartment-hunters are likely to follow a good deal when considering a move. For some, warm weather may just be an added bonus.
“Renters may decide to move when they find a more cost-effective option that allows them to maintain or improve their quality of living,” he says. “This can result from changes in their financial situation or discovering better rental deals in the market.”
Beginning early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market experienced significant shifts as many renters and even homeowners fled major metros for suburbs and smaller places. Remote workers led the way with these long-distance moves. According to an Upwork survey conducted last year about 2021, an estimated 5 million had relocated in 2021. More than a quarter of those surveyed said that they moved to a new place more than four hours’ commute from their workplace — and the main reason cited? Savings on living costs.
“The upside to working from anywhere is that renters can move to areas where the rent is more affordable, allowing their pay to go further,” says Stacy Brown, director of training for property firm Real Property Management in Waco, TX.
Considering following these movers’ lead? We crunched recent change-of-address numbers from the U.S. Postal Service to find the ZIP codes where most Americans moved in January and February of this year, and took affordability into account by comparing them with our own data on median rents for one-bedroom apartments in each ZIP code. Out of more than 107,000 data points, we found the 50 most popular ZIP codes where renters can score rent prices right now that are below the national median of $1,430 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. Below, we highlight the top 10.
If you’re mobile and looking to move and save, read on. By the end of this article, you may even be calling up a moving company and considering an interstate move.
For more specific guidance on how much rent you can afford, use our rent calculator. Keep in mind: A general rule of thumb is that you should not spend more than 30% of your monthly income on housing and you should also take into account an area’s general cost of living.
Half of the top 10 ZIP codes in our data lie in the Sunshine State. The post office says more than 700 people relocated in January and February to one of them (the numbers come from people filling out official change-of-address forms, so they represent some, but not all, movers).
- Haines City (ZIP code 33844), which is about an hour drive away from Tampa, welcomed 365 movers this year — giving it the No. 1 spot on our list. The ZIP code’s median rent price of $1,075 is just 75% of the national one-bedroom median in our data — $1,430. Perhaps, the savings will come in handy for any renters looking to train hard for the IRONMAN 70.3 FLORIDA, a 70.3-mile triathlon held each December in Haines City.
- Movers to ZIP code 32118 in Daytona Beach (No. 4 on our list) can catch the action at the international speedway while enjoying a median rent of $1,292.
- Savings can also be found up the Gulf Coast from St. Petersburg. In New Port Richey (ZIP code 34652), which was ranked the No. 5 ZIP code, the median monthly rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,397.
- No. 10 on our list is the “City of Five Flags,” Pensacola, and specifically its 32507 ZIP code, which rounds out the Florida tour. The Panhandle city boasts 450 years of history as well as a median one-bedroom rent of $975 per month, or 68% of the national median.
- Also worth mentioning is Clearwater, (33756 ZIP code), No. 17 on our list, where rent was a bit lower than the national figure as well, at a median price of $1,300 per month for a one-bedroom.
Arizona was home to two of the top 10 ZIP codes in our data.
- In 1971, investors moved a bridge that had spanned the Thames River in London to Lake Havasu City, No. 2 on our list. These days, more than 350 new movers to ZIP code 86403 in the London Bridge’s new home can find a median one-bedroom monthly rent price of $1,000.
- By at least one reckoning, Yuma (which is about a three-hour drive from the state capital, Phoenix) is “the Sunniest Place on Earth.” The savings shine in the 85364 ZIP code, too, with a median monthly rent price of just $775. It came in at No. 6 on our list of hottest ZIP codes for movers with rent prices below the national median.
Other Hottest ZIP Codes
Leaving the big city can pay off rent price–wise, according to our data.
- If beaches and birdwatching spark delight, then take a cue from the movers who migrated to ZIP code 78418 in Corpus Christi, TX (No. 8 on our list). This Texas city is next door to Padre Island National Seashore, with the Gulf of Mexico beyond. Renters likely find the median rent of $1,145, or 80% of the national, nice, too. Plus, if you’re ever missing the hustle and bustle of the city, the San Antonio and Houston metro areas are only a two- and three-hour drive away, respectively.
- For thrifty winter sports fans, Ogden, UT (ZIP code 84401) might be calling. As over 100 movers have discovered, the city’s a picturesque gateway to ski resorts of the Wasatch Range and enjoys a median rent of $1,067. It was the No. 3 most popular ZIP code on our list for movers.
- No. 9 on our list — 47130 in Jeffersonville, IN — boasts a median one-bedroom rent of $850 a month. Other than it’s low monthly rent prices, the city also hosts something unique on our list: an annual race of speed and nautical know-how between crews of two vintage steamboats. Held since 1963 just days before the Kentucky Derby, the Great Steamboat Race runs along the Ohio River between Jeffersonville to Louisville, KY.
We crunched recent change-of-address numbers from the U.S. Postal Service to find the ZIP codes where most Americans moved in January and February of this year, and took affordability into account by comparing them with our own data on median rents for one-bedroom apartments in each ZIP code. Below is our full list.
The 50 Most Popular ZIP Codes for Movers in 2023 So Far Below the National Rent Median
|Rank||ZIP code||City||State||Number of Movers to ZIP Code||Monthly Median Rent Price for 1-Bedroom Apartment||Percent of the National Monthly Median Rent Price for a 1-Bedroom Apartment|
|2||86403||Lake Havasu City||AZ||359||$1,000||68%|
|5||34652||New Port Richey||FL||110||$1,397||95%|
We combined data from the United States Postal Service on change-of-address filings by ZIP code with our data on median rents for one-bedroom apartments. We limited our analysis to address changes in January and February 2023, the latest months for which data were available. Median rental prices were calculated for each U.S. ZIP code that met adequate inventory thresholds for those months, and paired with the USPS data. In this list, we only included cities where the median monthly rent price for a one-bedroom apartment fell below the national median of $1,430 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. The rankings are based off of the number of movers to each ZIP code, from the most to least amount of net movers.
We rate and sort every listing based on fair market rent.
Top metro areas
Albuquerque Metro Apartments
411 apartments starting at $550/month
Atlanta Metro Apartments
1,357 apartments starting at $650/month
Austin Metro Apartments
1,518 apartments starting at $537/month
Bakersfield Metro Apartments
348 apartments starting at $400/month
Baltimore Metro Apartments
896 apartments starting at $500/month
Birmingham Metro Apartments
529 apartments starting at $495/month
Boston Metro Apartments
2,933 apartments starting at $950/month
Charlotte Metro Apartments
924 apartments starting at $549/month
Chicago Metro Apartments
2,553 apartments starting at $499/month
Cincinnati Metro Apartments
686 apartments starting at $595/month
Cleveland Metro Apartments
823 apartments starting at $450/month
Colorado Springs Metro Apartments
757 apartments starting at $500/month
Columbus Metro Apartments
1,186 apartments starting at $490/month
Dallas Fort Worth Metro Apartments
2,919 apartments starting at $400/month
Denver Metro Apartments
1,809 apartments starting at $450/month
Detroit Metro Apartments
1,089 apartments starting at $500/month
El Paso Metro Apartments
261 apartments starting at $550/month
Fresno Metro Apartments
292 apartments starting at $700/month
Hartford Metro Apartments
166 apartments starting at $750/month
Honolulu Metro Apartments
589 apartments starting at $500/month
Houston Metro Apartments
1,198 apartments starting at $400/month
Indianapolis Metro Apartments
709 apartments starting at $475/month
Jacksonville Metro Apartments
966 apartments starting at $550/month
Kansas City Metro Apartments
1,176 apartments starting at $410/month
Las Vegas Metro Apartments
1,588 apartments starting at $600/month
Los Angeles Metro Apartments
5,581 apartments starting at $400/month
Louisville Metro Apartments
384 apartments starting at $495/month
Memphis Metro Apartments
940 apartments starting at $450/month
Miami Metro Apartments
960 apartments starting at $950/month
Milwaukee Metro Apartments
706 apartments starting at $485/month
Minneapolis Metro Apartments
1,535 apartments starting at $500/month
Nashville Metro Apartments
628 apartments starting at $837/month
New Orleans Metro Apartments
319 apartments starting at $600/month
New York City Metro Apartments
1,163 apartments starting at $500/month
Oklahoma City Metro Apartments
1,207 apartments starting at $525/month
Omaha Metro Apartments
465 apartments starting at $445/month
Orlando Metro Apartments
1,317 apartments starting at $550/month
Philadelphia Metro Apartments
1,974 apartments starting at $500/month
Phoenix Metro Apartments
1,832 apartments starting at $598/month
Pittsburgh Metro Apartments
1,029 apartments starting at $400/month
Portland Metro Apartments
2,102 apartments starting at $415/month
Raleigh Metro Apartments
851 apartments starting at $595/month
Richmond Metro Apartments
683 apartments starting at $625/month
Riverside Metro Apartments
477 apartments starting at $550/month
Sacramento Metro Apartments
985 apartments starting at $525/month
Salt Lake City Metro Apartments
675 apartments starting at $600/month
San Antonio Metro Apartments
1,243 apartments starting at $500/month
San Diego Metro Apartments
1,744 apartments starting at $590/month
San Francisco Metro Apartments
1,982 apartments starting at $895/month
San Jose Metro Apartments
696 apartments starting at $1,000/month
Seattle Metro Apartments
1,987 apartments starting at $495/month
St. Louis Metro Apartments
1,035 apartments starting at $495/month
Tampa Metro Apartments
1,009 apartments starting at $750/month
Tucson Metro Apartments
514 apartments starting at $499/month
Tulsa Metro Apartments
451 apartments starting at $500/month
Virginia Beach Metro Apartments
521 apartments starting at $700/month
Washington Metro Apartments
901 apartments starting at $620/month
Wichita Metro Apartments
390 apartments starting at $425/month