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Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 10:33 PM


First Published in 1994


With prices surging faster than paychecks, American renters are left wondering: Where can they stretch their dollars the furthest? To answer this, we've compiled data from 189 cities to identify the sweet spots between income and expenses by weighing how much of their income went toward rent and basic expenses for utilities, food, healthcare and other essentials.

Greenville is the 21st-best city for renters looking to get the best bang for their buck. This is because renters here spend a smaller portion of their incomes on all analyzed expenses compared to most U.S. cities. Plus, Greenville’s income-to-rent ratio is one of the most favorable in the country.

Here’s what pushed Greenville so high in the ranking:

  • Greenville ranks 22nd for its disposable income-to-goods and services ratio. With prices for goods and services slightly below the national average ($214 vs. $217) and incomes surpassing the national benchmark ($55,283 vs. $49,201), renters here can cover this expense 15 times over after paying rent, compared to seven times in Miami or six times in Manhattan.
  • Boasting the 23rd-best balance between renters’ disposable income and healthcare costs, a Greenville income can cover 9.16 times the value of this expense. Healthcare prices here are below the national average ($350 vs. $366).
  • Ranking 24th in this category, Greenville sees a smaller fraction of renters' income going towards essential groceries compared to most American cities. Basic food prices are aligned with the national average ($66), leaving renters with enough money for 48.4 supermarket trips post-rent.
  • Moreover, Greenville offers a good balance between income and rent, placing 26th in this category. Renters in Greenville can afford 3.30 times their monthly rent with their incomes, compared to 2.21 times in Columbia, SC. For context, the monthly rent in Greenville stands at $1,396, below the national benchmark of $1,702.

Check out the values for all basic necessities in Greenville in the visual below, as well as how it compares with other cities in the top:

  • Across the nation, Sunnyvale, CA, leads in offering renters the best value for their money, with disposable income covering utilities 23.6 times over or allowing for 102.5 trips to the supermarket post-rent. Following are Surprise, AZ, and Arlington, VA. In the Southeast, Arlington, VA ranks highest, with Greenville taking the 6th place in the region, above Raleigh, Charlotte or Charleston, SC.

For the complete ranking of the cities that offer the best balance between income and expenses, check out our report here: https://www.rentcafe.com/blog/rental-market/market-snapshots/top-renting-sweet-spots-us/