American cities where renters' income goes even further

“I love this area so much,” Lucas told CNBC Make It. “Surprise is one of those cities that is growing — new companies coming in may provide more job opportunities, and it's a very diverse city. It's continuing to grow and expand, and I see a lot of people, even from California, coming here.”

Lucas makes about $70,000 a year and pays $1,795 a month in rent. Although Surprise is a little more expensive than where she previously lived in north Phoenix, Arizona, she says it's worth the cost and she's still able to enjoy the entertainment and shopping that Surprise has to offer.

“It's very affordable,” Lucas says. “If you're looking for something luxury, that's a little more upscale, and you're looking for a city that you want to retire to, this is the surprise.”

The surprise comes after Sunnyvale, Calif., in the RentCafe rankings. In Sunnyvale, high incomes help make the high costs of living affordable for residents. The city's median monthly rent of $3,013 is well above the national average of $1,702, but renters there earn a median income of $145,723 — nearly three times the national average of $49,201 among renters. , according to RentCafe's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

In a surprise, the average monthly rent is $1,781, which is slightly higher than the national average. But like in Sunnyvale, the median annual income among renters is also higher at $86,236, which helps make it a relatively affordable place to live.

The RentCafe study compared the average income among renters in 189 U.S. cities with local average rental prices to find out where renters can get the most for their money. Although the cost of rent was the biggest factor in the rankings, it also took local costs of necessities like food, health care, transportation and more into account to rank cities by overall affordability.

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Here are the top 10 U.S. cities where renters' income goes the furthest, according to RentCafe.

  • Average household income for renters: $54,594
  • Average monthly rent: $1,117

Although residents high on the list may be able to make the most of their income, this is not the case for many people in the United States. Renters are more burdened than ever by the cost of their housing, according to a new report. Recent Harvard study.

In fact, the study found that half of renters in the United States allocate more than 30% of their income to their rent. Experts recommend keeping rental costs at or below 30% of your income to help maintain financial stability.

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