Florida’s apartment market regains top spot as the most competitive in the US

The rental market in the US seems to have a proclivity for shifting towards the sunnier states as Florida sees the hottest competition.

By Alex Summers

Florida’s apartment market has once again emerged as the most competitive in the country, surpassing other regions and attracting renters with its diverse and resilient economy according to Yardi data.

apartment market in Miami
The market for apartments in Miami has topped the RCI. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The influx of transplants from the north seeking job opportunities and a better lifestyle has contributed to the state’s growing popularity among renters. As a result, Florida dominates the list of the nation’s hottest renting hubs, with six cities ranking in the top 20. Miami, in particular, has reclaimed its position as the most competitive rental market in the US, followed closely by North Jersey and south-west Florida.

Apartment markets: demand and occupancy rates:

Rental markets across the US are experiencing high demand, with occupancy rates as high as 97% and lease renewal rates reaching 80%. Apartments in these competitive markets are being snatched up in less than three weeks. However, renters are faced with limited options as the number of vacant apartments decreases.

To assess the competitiveness of rental markets, RentCafe.com analysed the Yardi data from 137 markets in the US. It considered several key indicators, including the number of days apartments were vacant, the occupancy rate, the number of renters competing for the same unit, lease renewal rates, and the share of new apartments completed. Based on their findings, it calculated the Rental Competitivity Index (RCI), which indicates the level of competitiveness in each market.

Florida’s dominance and Miami’s Reign

Florida’s rental market is the top performer, driven by increasing tourism, business activity, and the appeal of the state’s lifestyle. Miami, in particular, stands out as the previously mentioned top-performing rental market in the nation.

With an occupancy rate of 97.1% and intense competition among renters, finding an apartment in Miami may be a challenge. The city boasts an RCI score of 120, surpassing North Jersey and reclaiming the top spot. Miami's job market has also shown consistent growth, attracting individuals from various industries.

Southwest Florida and Broward County

South-west Florida, including Naples, Fort Myers and Cape Coral, ranks as the third-most competitive rental market in the US. The area attracts retirees and remote workers seeking a more relaxed lifestyle.

However, the supply of rental apartments falls short of the demand, resulting in high occupancy rates and fierce competition among renters. Broward County, located north of Miami, also experiences a highly competitive rental market, with a limited number of new apartments and a high occupancy rate of 95.5%.

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Other hotspots

Apart from Florida, large north-eastern markets like Brooklyn, suburban Philadelphia, and Central Jersey are also in high demand. These areas offer a combination of economic opportunities, natural beauty, and cultural diversity, making them appealing to renters. However, the lack of available apartments and high lease renewal rates contribute to the overall competitiveness of these markets.

[Read more: Are millennials fleeing Californian cities for Texas?]

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