The Hottest U.S. Rental Markets: Mid-sized Hubs Take the Lead in Competitivity
Following one of the most disruptive periods of our times, at the start of 2021, the most in demand locations for renters were certainly not the ones you would expect.
When trying to assess the competitiveness of our country’s 125 largest rental markets, we found mid-sized markets like Central Valley, CA, Spokane, WA, and Boise, ID were the most sought-after this past quarter. These emerging renter hubs share a similar story, attracting renters from larger metros with a mix of cheaper, slower living and a growing number of opportunities. Coupled with a shift towards remote work, the nation’s mid-sized renter hubs were poised to get a boost in the first quarter of the year.
“The largest markets and surrounding exurbs show renters are distinctly looking to get more square footage or more amenities for the same price, within these hubs and close to them. Residents from large gateway markets are “trading up”, and with work-from-home policies, exurb locations close to these areas are also benefitting from this behaviour.” says Doug Ressler, manager of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix.
To rank the hottest rental markets in the nation, we looked at the most revealing industry metrics when it comes to competitivity:
- what percentage of apartments were occupied
- how many days rentals were vacant
- how many prospective renters competed for apartments
- the rent price trend
On a national level, U.S. apartments were vacant for an average of 39 days during the first quarter of 2021. 94% of rentals were occupied during the time period, with an average of 11 renters competing per apartment. The rent trend score was 20 in the first three months of the year, showing slight growth.