These are the 30 hottest rental markets in the country

Amidst a market still unaffordable for many renters, RentCafe ranked the 150 largest cities in the U.S. in terms of rental activity.

To calculate the most active rental markets, RentCafe looked at a few metrics: availability of apartments to measure overall demand, listing views, apartments saved as favorites and saved personalized searches.

Rental markets taking the top spots in terms of activity: Atlanta, Georgia, took the top spot, followed by Kansas City, Missouri, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The state of the South Florida rental market

Fort Lauderdale took the 25th spot out of the 150 largest cities in the United States in terms of rental activity, jumping five spots in less than a month, according to RentCafe.

“Fort Lauderdale is among April’s top 30 cities in the U.S. in terms of rental activity, mainly due to a decrease in available apartments, as well as the considerable increase in the number of apartments that renters added to their favorites list — more than double the number in April 2022,” noted Alexandra Both, author of the report.

Here is where Fort Lauderdale stood:

There were 15% less apartments available in April when compared to last year, signifying that more apartments were filled due to market demand.
There were 18% less page views of listings in the city in April than the year prior.
There were 169% more favorited searches in April when compared to last year.
There were 45% less saved searches in April than in the year prior.

“Saved searches shows that a renter is still prospecting. The decrease in saved searches and increase in favorites for Fort Lauderdale shows that, in April this year, renters were more determined and intentional in their apartment hunting process,” added Both.

The South Florida rental market, while not as torrid as it was a year or two ago, is still experiencing high price growth and healthy demand.

Occupancy rates for an established apartment complex might sit between 93-95%, a few percentage points lower than the height of the rental market last year, according to Johnny De La Espriella, senior vice president of RKW Residential, a property management company.

“I think the average renter has additional supply to look into now than they did two years ago. There is a bit more availability of new supply in each submarket. However, I don’t think that a renter should go in expecting rents to be decreasing,” said De La Espriella.

Rents have risen on average about 6.58% in South Florida when compared to the year before, according to the Waller, Weeks and Johnson Rental Index.

It’s a slight softening in the rate of increases renters have seen in the past few years, though it doesn’t translate to a decrease in overall rents. In fact, renters are paying an 11% premium based on where rents should be.

Currently, renters are paying on average about $2,782.06, about $288 more compared to where rents should be based on long-term pricing trends: $2,493.71.

There might be some buildings, usually newer ones that have just opened, that might be offering concessions in the form of one or two months of rent free, added De La Espriella.

“For the communities that are more established, and that have had residents for several years, they aren’t really offering concessions because they are keeping their residents,” he said.

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