Cities Skylines 2 Housing Guide: Rent, Demand, Zoning, and Tips

Will you become a real estate mogul, or a slumlord? You decide!

by J.R. Waugh
Cities Skylines 2 Housing Guide Rent Demand Zoning
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When building your sim metropolis, you have to know what the civilians need, from basic things like shelter to other big-picture issues like a reasonable cost of living. In our Cities: Skylines 2 guide to housing, you’ll be able to address rent, demand, and zoning needs.

Cities Skylines 2 Housing Guide: Zoning and Demand Tips

The first thing you’ll need to know is that zoning should be scaled to demand in Cities: Skylines 2, and this is best done with the marquee tool. On the Zones menu, it’s tempting to use the Fill tool and call it a day. While this will instantly eliminate demand on the bottom right, you’ll find later on that this results in some buildings not going up until demand catches up.

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Related: How to Fix ‘Lack of Labor’ in Cities: Skylines 2

Additional tips for zoning include the following:

  • Build commercial zones to a ratio of 1:4 commerce to residences; this provides sales and even job opportunities and lowers commerce demand
  • Look at the street colors when placing residential zones. If there’s a red street you’re building on, consider a different density for your housing
  • Make sure they have adequate access to healthcare, fire & rescue, and police; check each services menu to make sure this zone has coverage
  • Build at least one form of transportation network like taxis or buses to get civilians to and from work or amenities
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Generally, if you follow these tips your civilians will be happy and thriving. However, sometimes the dreaded ‘High Rent’ icon shows up, and you’ll want to consider your options here.

What Do You Do About High Rent?

Maybe this question hits too close to home, but in the context of Cities: Skylines 2, consider your surrounding area when you get the High Rent alert. Are there enough opportunities for jobs for your residents?

If their education is good, are you building enough Offices to address the demand and provide them with income? Or, if Industry is your route, do they have access to to Industrial zones, or parking near there so they can go to work? Generally, these can help address your concerns, but if you’re still having trouble, consider:

  • Lowering taxes on residences and affected sectors like Industrial or Office
  • Rezoning affected homes to low-rent housing
  • Lowering services fees — consider never raising them
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Any of these tips will help keep your civilians able to afford rent and spend right back into the economy. It’ll help your city thrive, and encourage more residents to move in!

- This article was updated on October 31st, 2023

About The Author

J.R. is a Staff Writer with AOTF and has been covering gaming and entertainment in the industry since 2022. Along with a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati, he has studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, and part of his M.A. at the University of Waterloo. You'll find J.R. particularly at home writing about the hottest manga and anime. He is highly passionate about horror, strategy, and RPGs, and anything about Star Trek or LOTR. When not ranting about fan theories or writing guides, J.R. is streaming his favorite RPGs and other forgotten gems.