The Tightest Rental Markets in America: Where are Apartments in Highest Demand?

Looking for an apartment in one of these metros? Good luck – you’re going to need it.

Apartment Guide has identified the top metro areas with the highest rental occupancy rates, meaning these apartments get snatched up in a hurry. So if you’re in the rental market in one of these areas, you’d better act fast.

Read on to find out where renting is all the rage.

Top 10 Metros with Highest Apartment Occupancy

CBSA Name Occupancy Rate
San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara, CA 97%
Minneapolis – St. Paul – Bloomington, MN/WI 97%
San Francisco – Oakland – Fremont, CA 97%
Portland – Vancouver – Hillsboro, OR/WA 96%
San Diego – Carlsbad – San Marcos, CA 96%
Boston – Cambridge – Newton, MA/NH 96%
New York – Newark – Jersey City, NY/NJ/PA 96%
Nashville – Davidson – Murfreesboro – Franklin, TN 96%
Chicago – Naperville – Joliet, IL/IN/WI 96%
Baltimore – Towson, MD 96%

Occupancy rates reflect Apartment Guide data as of July 22, 2014.

Renting on the Rise Nationwide

According to the State of the Nation’s Housing Report, released in June by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the number of renter-occupied homes grew by more than half a million in 2013, well above the average over the past few decades. Nationwide, apartment vacancy is at its lowest rate since 2000.

The trend is spurring new construction everywhere, but according to Apartment Guide data, the biggest percentage growth is concentrated in Charleston, SC. This year, the area is expected to see an 8 percent increase in new apartment construction over 2013.

The average national apartment vacancy rate is 4 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. That rate is expected to rise by 0.1 percent by the first quarter of 2015, due to new construction. Areas with vacancy rates below 5 percent are considered landlords’ markets, with high demand justifying higher rent.

More fun with data on the AG Blog:

Methodology

Apartment Guide relies on apartment communities that list on the site to report their occupancy rates. The top 10 metros with the highest occupancy rates were identified using the following criteria:

  • Properties were eliminated if they reported erroneous occupancy rates: greater than 100 percent or lower than 50 percent, or the field was left blank.
  • Properties listed as new construction were eliminated.
  • Only multi-unit properties with 50 units or more were included.

The included properties were grouped together by location – aggregated according to their core-based statistical area (CBSA), also known as a metro area.

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