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This state is home to the best cities for renters

Key Points
  • Scottsdale, Arizona, is the top city for households who want to rent, largely due to its quality of life, according to an analysis by WalletHub.
  • Among the top 10 cities, four of them are based in Arizona. The state also has low individual income tax rates.
Downtown Scottsdale and suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, with the White Tank Mountain Range in the background.
JacobH | Getty Images

Your next rental destination just might be in the Sun Belt.

Scottsdale, Arizona, is the best place for renters, according to an analysis by WalletHub.

The personal finance website studied 182 U.S. cities, and evaluated them based on the affordability of the rental market and the quality of life.

Considerations under the "quality of life" include driver-friendliness, the availability of recreational activities and the quality of public schools.

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"The good news for renters is that you can move away from the big city and have a great quality of life in Scottsdale," said Jill Gonzalez, senior analyst at WalletHub.

"Looking at the rental market and how much people tend to be making in these Phoenix suburbs, incomes tend to be a little higher and rentals are more affordable," she said.

Overland Park, Kansas, came in second place, while Bismarck, North Dakota, followed in third place, according to WalletHub's analysis.

Gilbert, Arizona ,and Lincoln, Nebraska, round out the top five.

Lower costs in the desert

Four of the top 10 cities were based in Arizona, located just outside of Phoenix.

The median rent in Arizona is $1,550, while in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro region it's $1,595.

In Scottsdale proper, living expenses are higher: $2,200 is the median rent in this resort destination.

Some southern Californians are taking note and relocating to the area. That may be because the median rent in Los Angeles is $3,495, Zillow found.

An average of 219,900 new residents relocated to the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area annually from 2012 to 2016, according to data from personal finance site NerdWallet.

Of these, 12,000 hailed from the Los Angeles metro area — the most common out-of-state area of origin, NerdWallet found.

Further, Arizona also enjoys relatively low taxes.

The top marginal individual income tax rate in Arizona is 4.54%, compared to California's top marginal rate of 13.3%. This makes the Grand Canyon state a destination for Californians in search of a lower cost of living and reduced levies.

"You get more square footage in Arizona and more new construction — dwellings built between 2010 and 2017 — for less rent," said Gonzalez.

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