Renting is now the new buying as high home prices, according to a new treport from RentCafe, and the peak rental season bring out more renters looking for apartments. The new study takes a look at which cities are seeing the most listing activity and attracting the most attention from apartment hunters.
Arlington, VA, became July’s most desired city by renters after climbing eight spots. It’s followed by a Southern favorite, Orlando, FL. Taking up the third spot, after jumping one position compared to last month, is Cincinnati.
Apartment listings in these cities saw the most engagement on RentCafe.com this month due to high rates of rental properties saved to favorites, personalized searches, scarce unit availability and overall high listing views.
As the rental season reaches its peak, the Southern and Midwestern markets maintain their stronghold, dominating the list of this month’s top 30 in-demand cities for renters. However, the Northeast is picking up steam after two new locations in the region entered the ranking—Buffalo, NY, and Boston.
Last month’s favorite—Kansas City, MO—dropped four positions, losing its two-month winning streak. On the other hand, bustling New York City boroughs are inching up closer to the top of the list, with Bronx and Queens climbing five and six positions, respectively.
Arlington is the most in-demand city for renters in July
Below are this month’s top 10 cities for rental activity, as well as the biggest shifts in the last 30 days.
1. Arlington, VA
Arlington, VA, has taken the top spot as July’s most desirable city for apartment seekers on RentCafe.com, surpassing last month’s leader, Kansas City, MO. The surge in popularity can be attributed to the significant increase in views, saved searches and favorited listings for Arlington properties on our website.
Compared to last year, there has been a remarkable 76% increase in views, a 43% rise in saved searches, and a notable 41% growth in favorited listings. These impressive numbers have propelled Arlington to claim the #1 position in our July Rental Activity Report.
2. Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL, has emerged as a strong contender in the rental market, closely competing with Arlington for the top spot this month. The City Beautiful proudly leads a list of popular Florida cities for renting, including Fort Lauderdale and Hialeah. Surpassing its previous record at #8, Orlando continues to captivate renters’ attention and attract their interest.
The evidence of Orlando’s appeal is clear: There has been a remarkable 31% increase in listing views on RentCafe.com compared to last year. Furthermore, the number of favorited apartments has more than doubled during this time period, indicating a strong desire among apartment dwellers to make Orlando their new home.
3. Cincinnati, OH
This month, Cincinnati experienced a significant rise in rental activity on RentCafe.com, moving up one position from last month, to secure third place in the top 30 list of most in-demand cities for renters.
With 4% fewer apartments available, there was a notable increase of 34% in listing views when compared to the previous year. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that although renters conducted 15% fewer searches compared to the same period last year, there was a remarkable spike of 92% in favorited listings during this timeframe.
4. Omaha, NE
July's fourth most popular city for renters, Omaha's rising popularity was evident starting in June, when it had an impressive climb to the 11th position. This substantial jump in positions for two consecutive months is a testament to the city's growing appeal.
A significant contributing factor to Omaha's surge to the top of the ranking is the remarkable increase in renters' interest in renting in the city. Compared to a year ago, renters are now favoriting ten times more apartments for rent on RentCafe.com. Additionally, there has been a notable 25% rise in rental listing views within the same timeframe.
5. Kansas City, MO
After consistently claiming the top spot as the most sought-after location for two consecutive months, Kansas City has experienced a slight decline, now ranking fifth.
Nevertheless, when examining the year-on-year changes, the situation appears solid for this Midwestern metropolis. Traffic on Kansas City apartment listing pages on RentCafe.com has surged by an impressive 49%, showcasing a strong interest among potential renters. Moreover, compared to last July, renters have favorited over four times the number of listings, indicating a heightened preference for properties in Kansas City.
6. Minneapolis, MN
Another Midwestern town knocked down from the podium is Minneapolis. After reaching third place last month, the city now sits in the #6 position.
The Minneapolis rental market has become increasingly popular among renters, with a clear indication being the 22% decrease in available apartment listings compared to last year. Nevertheless, both page views and favorited listings dropped in numbers compared to June, allowing other cities to surpass Minneapolis in the race for the top spot.
7. Atlanta, GA
A-Town has maintained its position at number seven in the rankings, the same as the previous month. However, it has achieved a higher score since June. This improvement can be largely attributed to a notable 27% increase in saved searches compared to this time last year.
During July, Atlanta witnessed a decline in renter interest, as evidenced by a 27% decrease in traffic on rental listing pages compared to the same period last year. Additionally, Atlanta has been surpassed by Arlington and Orlando as the leading Southern cities in the ranking.
8. Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque's position in our ranking has experienced fluctuations. The city initially held the third spot in April and May, subsequently dropping to fifth in June, and is currently the eighth most popular city for renters in the country.
Despite the slight descent, Albuquerque apartments remain highly favored among renters. In fact, page views on RentCafe.com have more than doubled in this city compared to the previous year, and there has been a significant increase of 43% in the number of rental listings being saved to favorites within the same timeframe.
9. Bronx, NY
Boasting its highest rank this year, the most affordable borough in New York City stands out as the sole Northeastern location to make it into our top 10 list. The Bronx's lively atmosphere and cost-effective nature relative to other NYC boroughs have propelled it up by an impressive five positions.
The increase in interest in renting in the Bronx is evident from the significant rise in searches and favorited listings on RentCafe.com. Renters are actively seeking out opportunities to live in this borough, as indicated by the doubling of searches being favorited compared to last year. This surge in interest has also translated into a remarkable 107% increase in favorited listings.
10. Portland, OR
Portland has proudly clinched a spot in the top 10, solidifying its position among the very best. The city has seen a notable increase in its favorited listings on RentCafe.com. With an impressive 84% growth compared to July last year, renters' interest in Portland apartments is growing.
Apartment dwellers here bumped up viewership of rental properties by 10% year-over-year. These statistics highlight the diverse range of housing options available in Portland as well as the growing demand for apartments.
To read the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.