Renters Face Fiercest Competition in Florida and the Northeast

Renters Face Fiercest Competition in Florida and the Northeast

As pandemic restrictions ease and remote working becomes a staple, Americans continue to look for homes in communities with more relaxed lifestyles — particularly Florida and the Northeast, home to the country’s most competitive markets for renters, according to a new analysis of real estate data.

Analysis released in June by RentCafe, a division of real estate software company Yardi Systems, showed that Miami-Dade County, home to more than 20 miles of beach, was the most competitive area for renters in the first four months of 2022. It was also in the top 10 : Harrisburg, Pa.; Orlando, Florida; North and Central Jersey, Southwest Florida, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Rochester, New York and Milwaukee.

The rental trend has been fueled in part by stubbornly high house prices and rising mortgage rates, which are pushing potential buyers into an already overheated rental market, the report said. To determine the hottest markets so far this year, the researchers considered five metrics: average vacancy days, occupancy levels, potential tenants competing for offers, lease renewal rates, and the volume of new homes built in the first four months of the year.

Various factors impacted the result, including rapid inflation and the rise in remote work, said Doug Ressler, manager of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix, a division of Yardi Systems. “It would be nice if one thing contributed to the growing demand for these mosaics,” he said, “but each market has its own profile.”

For example, Miami-Dade County expanded its housing stock from January through April to accommodate an influx of renters. But the lure of looser Covid restrictions and low taxes kept the area highly competitive. “Miami has a business-friendly climate,” said Mr. Ressler.

On the other hand, Harrisburg — which is close to Philadelphia, New York, and Washington — didn’t add any new apartments during the same period, prompting tenants to stay and renew their leases.