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15 Hottest Rental Markets in the U.S.

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Most Americans who tried to rent a home in the U.S. this year can attest that their nerves were shot by the time they signed a lease — if they were fortunate enough to do so.

That’s because renting is at its highest level in half a century, according to a new report from RentCafe, an apartment search website. Some highlights from the report indicate why finding a place to rent was so difficult in 2022.

All but about 5% of rental apartments in the country were occupied this year, and newly built ones represented just 1.5% of the nation’s total housing supply. When leases on occupied apartments expired, nearly two-thirds of renters renewed.

And when an apartment did come available, it spent an average of 32 days on the market, during which time 14 prospective renters competed for the opportunity to move in. Finding an available apartment to rent was more difficult in some parts of the country than in others.

To find the hottest rental markets in the U.S.,’s research team analyzed Yardi Systems’ apartment data for 135 rental markets, with the data coming directly from market-rate large-scale multifamily properties of at least 50 units. They excluded fully affordable multifamily properties.

Researchers ranked the markets based on a market competitive score, which they calculated by averaging the percentage weight assigned to each of five metrics for January through August:

  • Apartment occupancy rate: 30% weight
  • Average total days vacant: 15%
  • Prospective renters per unit per vacant unit: 15%
  • Lease renewal rate: 30%
  • Share of new apartments completed during the same timeframe compared with the overall supply at the end of December 2021: 10%

See the gallery for the 15 hottest rental markets in the U.S. in 2022, according to RentCafe.