Most people know what makes a neighborhood great, whether it’s parks and affordable housing or public transportation, quality schools, and walkability.
Here at Cozy, we know a desirable neighborhood is a place renters want to live. We examined our rental listing data and found which zip codes receive the most applications per property listing. These are the most competitive neighborhoods in the country for renters, the places everyone wants to live.
1) 94114: San Francisco, CA
- Neighborhoods: Duboce Triangle, Corona Heights, The Castro, Dolores Heights, Noe Valley
- Average applications per listing: 8
- Median rent for a 1,000-square-foot place: $3,810
- Median home price: $1,617,900
Why everyone wants to live there: Located on the western edge of the Mission District, this zip code holds some of San Francisco’s most well-known neighborhoods, including The Castro District. Don’t miss the 16-acre Mission Dolores Park with its grassy slopes and city views, as well as Noe Valley’s neat rows of Victorians.
Claim to fame: The lavish Castro Theater, which was built in 1922 and still shows films and hosts festivals.
Hot spot: Cervecería de Mateveza serves empanadas and small-batch beers brewed onsite.
2) 97203: Portland, OR
- Neighborhoods: St. Johns, Portsmouth, University Park
- Average applications per listing:7.41
- Median rent for a 1,000-square-foot place:$1,530
- Median home price: $315,600
Why everyone wants to live there: In this part of North Portland, a bluff filled with quiet residential neighborhoods peppered with parks overlooks the Willamette River, and the University of Portland adds a collegiate vibe. In St. Johns, which feels more like a small town than a neighborhood, you can find an old-school diner and a kombucha bar.
Claim to fame: The Gothic-spired St. Johns Bridge was a considered a feat of engineering when it was completed in 1931.
Hot spot: The Lombard Food Carts, a cluster of food trucks encircling an outdoor fire pit, has live music and pints from the St. Johns Beer Porch.
3) 60608: Chicago, IL
- Neighborhoods: Lower West Side, McKinley Park, Bridgeport, Heart of Chicago, Pilsen
- Average applications per listing: 6.09
- Median rent for a 1,000-square-foot place: $1,900
- Median home price:$210,300
Why everyone wants to live there: Known for its diversity, history, and affordable housing, this area—just 4 miles from downtown Chicago—is experiencing a rebirth. German and Irish immigrants came to the area in the 1840s, followed by Mexican immigrants in the 1950s and 60s, which eventually led to the creation of the National Museum of Mexican Art. New restaurants, galleries, and shops are popping up in neighborhoods like McKinley Park, which has long been known for its manufacturing.
Claim to fame: The Pilsen Historic District was once home to Bohemian immigrants who built brick homes after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Hot spot: Thalia Hall, a 1892 performance hall modeled after the Prague Opera House, re-opened in 2013 after sitting empty for 4 decades.
4) 80218: Denver, CO
- Neighborhoods: Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park, City Park West
- Average applications per listing: 6
- Median rent for a 1,000-square-foot place: $2,180
- Median home price: $390,800
Why everyone wants to live there: A mashup of sections of different neighborhoods, this part of the Mile High City is home to artists, families, and politicians. Cheesman Park, once the site of the city’s cemetery, sits next to the Denver Botanic Gardens and a cluster of historic mansions. The Colfax Avenue section of Capitol Hill boasts bars, clubs, music venues, and restaurants, where politicians and lobbyists from the nearby Colorado State Capitol hold power lunches.
Claim to fame:Humboldt Street Historic District, also known as Humboldt Island, is made up of 26 houses that were built near the turn of the century.
Hot spot: The Denver Bicycle Cafe serves beer and coffee alongside its full-service bike shop.
5) 53211: Milwaukee, WI
- Neighborhoods: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Upper East Side, Whitefish Bay
- Average applications per listing: 6
- Average rent for a 1,000-square-foot place: $1,080
- Median home price: $266,800
Why everyone wants to live there: This zip code is all about University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It’s not that the parks and river of the River Greenway aren’t lush and beautiful. And the posh, architecturally-significant homes in Northpoint will always be a draw. But most people who call this area home are involved with the university, and they like to show their panther pride.
Claim to fame: The North Point Lighthouse, a 74-foot tall lighthouse tower built in 1855 to protect and guide ships on Lake Michigan.
Hot spot: The sandy Bradford Beach fills up with beach goers and volleyball players on sunny days, and on January 1, brave swimmers enter the lake’s icy waters for the Polar Bear Plunge.
Here are the 5 runner-up zip codes:
6) 98122: Seattle, WA
- Neighborhoods: Madrona, Mann, Squire Park, Pike/Pine
- Average applications per listing: 5.18
7) 90026: Los Angeles, CA
- Neighborhoods: Silver Lake, Echo Park, Angelino Heights, Westlake North
- Average applications per listing: 4.27
8) 92104: San Diego, CA
- Neighborhoods: North Park, Altadena, Burlingame
- Average applications per listing: 4.19
9) 19146: Philadelphia, PA
- Neighborhoods: Forgotten Bottom, Grays Ferry, Schuylkill, Southwest Center City, Graduate Hospital, Point Breeze, Newbold
- Average applications per listing: 4.07
10) 20002: Washington, D.C.
- Neighborhoods: Eckington, NoMa, Stanton Park, Edgewood, Ivy City
- Average applications per listing: 3.87
*Median home prices sourced from Zillow.com