This Is the Hardest City to Rent an Apartment

Home prices have gone straight up over the past two years. That may have started to change recently, as mortgage rates have risen. They were about 3% on a 30-year fixed mortgage a year ago. That has risen to almost 6% today, which has affected affordability for thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people.

There was at least one other trigger for the rising in some prices, which the S&P Case-Shiller index shows increased by about 20% most months this year, compared to the same months a year ago. Many people in the United States have become more mobile. COVID-19 allowed millions of Americans to work from home. This in turn has allowed people to work from where they want to instead of where they have to. Many have moved from the expensive coastal cities like San Francisco and New York to less expensive cities inland.

The rise in home prices has kept some people completely out of the market. Some of them believe home prices are too high to be sustained. If they buy at the top of the market, their home equity has nowhere to go but down. Other people do not want to be tied down by home ownership. They prefer to rent, often for flexibility.

As has been the case with ownership, some markets have become more competitive, based on price and inventory. Among the ways that these are measured for rentals are the number of days apartments stay vacant, the number of apartments that are occupied and the number of prospective tenants for each available apartment.

According to the recently released results of a RentCafe study of the U.S. rental market for the first half of the year, “On a national level, U.S. apartments that became vacant were filled within 35 days on average in the first part of 2022, with 14 renters competing for one apartment to secure a lease.”

The most competitive market was Miami-Dade County. The county scored a 114.5 on RentCafe’s index, and it had an extremely low 27 average days vacant. Among available apartments, 97.6% were occupied.

These are the 20 most competitive rental markets in America:

Market Score Days Vacant
Miami-Dade County 114.5 27
Harrisburg 106.3 36
Orlando 104.9 30
Southwest Florida 103.7 30
North Jersey 102.9 35
Grand Rapids 100.7 32
Rochester 96.0 39
Central Jersey 95.3 45
Milwaukee 93.7 34
Broward County 92.1 36
Orange County 91.4 31
Tampa 89.8 34
Omaha 85.2 29
Central Valley 79.7 33
Suburban Chicago 78.9 39
San Diego 78.8 31
Suburban Philadelphia 78.1 42
Eastern Virginia 77.3 30
Inland Empire 71.8 37
Eastern Los Angeles County 70.7 35

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