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Renter's Guide to Raleigh

Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, is the second largest city in the state with over 430,000 people. The city’s been growing steadily for the last two decades, and has a bustling nightlife scene, historic architecture, and diverse culinary options.

Raleigh sits in what is known as the Research Triangle, consisting of Raleigh, Durham, and Cary. It’s just a short 12 miles from Cary, 25 miles from Durham, and 165 miles northeast of Charlotte.

The city has a humid subtropical climate, much like the rest of the southeastern United States. The weather in Raleigh is typically very pleasant, with a mild spring and fall. The summers do get pretty hot though, with a lot of rain during the summer months, and the winters are fairly mild, although residents will see some occasional sleet, snow, and freezing rain. The average temperature is 80 degrees F in July, the wettest month of the year, while January averages hover around 41.0 degrees F.

Raleigh, NC Demographics

  • Total Population449,477
  • Female 217,048
    Male 232,429
  • Median Age33.1

Cost of Living in Raleigh, NC

While Raleigh is more expensive than most surrounding areas, the cost of living here is relatively inexpensive compared to other large US cities. Salaries in Raleigh are also higher on average compared to areas outside of the city to accommodate for this.

Even though the city has a wide variety of dining options, two can eat at most area restaurants for less than $50. And for utility expenses, Raleigh sits right around the national average of $140 a month for gas, water, and electricity for a 915-square-foor apartment.

As for public transportation in Raleigh, GoRaleigh is a public bus line that operates over 40 transit routes throughout the city. It’s pretty inexpensive too, with a one day pass costing only $2.50, and a week pass $12.

Average Rent in Raleigh, NC

  • Raleigh, NC Average Rental Price, May 2019$1,160/mo

Raleigh, NC Apartment Rent Ranges

  • $501-$7001%
  • $701-$1,00035%
  • $1,001-$1,50053%
  • $1,501-$2,0007%
  • > $2,0004%

Raleigh, NC Rent Trends

Average Rent Jan / 2016 May / 2016 Sept / 2016 Jan / 2017 May / 2017 Sept / 2017 Jan / 2018 May / 2018 May / 2019
Raleigh, NC $1,043 $1,079 $1,094 $1,090 $1,117 $1,113 $1,112 $1,114 $1,160
National $1,290 $1,319 $1,334 $1,329 $1,354 $1,366 $1,366 $1,381 $1,396

Average rent is projected to grow by 2% in 2018 compared to 2017.

Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.

Average rent values on this page are aggregated from data from the following zip codes: 276012760327604276052760627607276082760927610276122761327614276152761627617

Check out the average rent prices in Raleigh by neighborhood.

Living in Raleigh

Aside from its ethnic diversity, Raleigh is known for having a vibrant downtown scene, with fun places to see and events to attend throughout the year. The city is also great for those with kids, as Forbes named Raleigh the best place in the nation to raise a family in 2014.

Unfortunately, just like with many major cities, there are not many areas for parking. And most parking that is available is either a metered spot or a pay-for-park lot. The GoRaleigh bus line though is a great way to get around Raleigh, and ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are also available.

Things to do in Raleigh

There’s plenty to do and see in Raleigh, including the North Carolina Art Museum, which has fantastic sculptures, paintings, and a highly-sought-after MC Escher exhibit. The Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh also sometimes hosts work and live music from local artists and bands.

Raleigh also has lots of different recreational options like Shelley Lake Park, which provides visitors with scenic trails surrounding the lake, multiple playgrounds for the kids, and a basketball court. Durant Nature Preserve is also a popular spot and a great place to see some of what nature has to offer, covering over 230 acres where visitors can check out the lake, camp, hike, and even go mountain biking! Movie goers will love Cinemark Raleigh Grande, a 16-screen cineplex that offers indie and art films, plus food, beer and wine. And for those with kids, the Raleigh iMax never disappoints.

Looking for a place to relieve stress after work? Check out DefyGravity, a 20,000 sq. ft. facility with wall-to-wall steel-frame trampolines including the world-famous Angled Wall Trampolines, an expansive Olympic Foam Pit, and one of the largest Trampoline Dodgeball cages in America.

One of the more popular spots in Raleigh to grab a drink is Foundation, a whiskey bar that’s known for using only American ingredients. The city also features many local craft breweries like Raleigh Brewing Company and Trophy Brewing, famous for their session IPAs, as well as their Milky Way Stout.

Shoppers head to the Crabtree Valley Mall, the largest mall in the Triangle covering over 1 million square feet and one of Raleigh’s best places to shop. The mall has over 220 stores, as well as several restaurants including The Cheesecake Factory,  Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and McCormick & Schmick's. The Triangle Town Center is also a popular shopping spot in Raleigh for residents, with over 125 stores including anchors Belk, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy’s.

There’s no shortage of great food options here either, and Bida Manda is one of the best spots for a night out in Raleigh. It’s traditional Laotian food, and also has some of the tastiest cocktails in the city. Centro is another popular spot in the downtown area for dinner, Bahama Breeze is heaven for those who fancy Caribbean cuisine, and if you’re in Five Points, Lilly’s Pizza is a must. Just as Buku Global if you’re into street food!

For some locally-grown goodies, the State Farmers Market is one of the biggest and best in the country and has just about everything under the sun. And the goods are always high quality and fresh since the market is associated with one of the nation’s biggest agricultural schools, North Carolina State University.

There are plenty of things to do in Raleigh for free too, like the Midtown Music Beach Series at North Hills. This popular music series sees over 125,000 guests during the 16-week season and is completely free to the general public.

For the avid sports fans, two minor league teams play in the area: the Carolina Mudcats, an Atlanta Braves affiliate: and the Durham Bulls, a Chicago White Sox Affiliate. Not to mention for the big basketball fans, on the other ends of the triangle, both Duke and North Carolina play their home basketball games!

Working in Raleigh

Overall, unemployment in Raleigh is only 4.6 percent, below the national average of 5.5 percent. And for those looking for work in Raleigh, Forbes named Raleigh the second best city in the country for business and careers in 2014 and the 3rd best city for young professionals in 2016. Not to mention, the city is home to RBC Bank, Progress Energy, Ram Air Freight, and part of BB&T.

Raleigh, NC Households

  • Total Number of Households176,870
  • Family 98,955
    Non-family 77,915
  • Children 53,753
    No Children 123,117
  • Average People Per Household2.43
  • Median Household Income$61,505
  • Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,117

Top Colleges in Raleigh

Raleigh has great primary and secondary education, as the city happens to have one of the highest percentages of residents with college degrees in the country, and the Wake County School District serving the area is one of the top 15 districts in the state. The city also has multiple colleges and universities including North Carolina State University, Strayer's North Raleigh Campus, William Peace University, and Wake Technical Community College.

Raleigh, NC Education Statistics

  • No High School4%
  • Some High School22%
  • Some College22%
  • Associate Degree7%
  • Bachelor Degree30%
  • Graduate Degree16%

Tips for Renting in Raleigh

Rights for renters in Raleigh are governed by North Carolina state law, and are very typical or rights of renters throughout the rest of the state and country. There are no special laws that renters need to be aware of in Raleigh, but those moving to the area may need to get used to a southern accents and hospitality!

RENTCafé is your one-stop shop for finding a great new apartment in Raleigh, NC. Easily search through a wide selection of apartments for rent in Raleigh, NC, and view detailed information about available rentals including floor plans, pricing, photos, amenities, interactive maps, and thorough property descriptions. Property owners and managers are one click away, so feel free to contact them and find out all you need to know about the apartment you’re interested in. Browse Raleigh, NC apartments with rents starting from $729 and submit your rental application today!

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