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High Home Prices Fueling Peak Rental Season

According to RentCafe's August Rental Activity Report, renting is now the new buying as high home prices and the peak rental season bring out more renters looking for apartments.

New data revealed that Arlington, VA, is August’s most desired city by renters, maintaining its top spot from last month. Kansas City, MO, comes next after climbing three spots from #5 in July.

Fellow Midwestern hubs Minneapolis and Cincinnati take the third and fourth spots, respectively. Denver rounds out the top five after moving up six positions since last month.

Top 10 Cities Desired by Renters

  1. Arlington, VA
  2. Kansas City, MO
  3. Minneapolis
  4. Cincinnati
  5. Denver
  6. Bronx, NY
  7. Atlanta
  8. Albuquerque, NM
  9. Orlando, FL
  10. Durham, NC

The Midwest region also dominates August’s top 30 cities with the most rental activity, with 10 entries, followed by the South, with nine destinations on the list. And with peak rental season underway, renters are redirecting their search for apartments to suburban areas that offer easy access to big-city amenities.

This helped the Phoenix suburbs of Chandler, Gilbert, and Peoria enter our ranking as the newest and most popular rental locations. As a result, this month, seven Western cities are among the nation’s most sought-after places by renters.

At the same time, core urban living is still desirable. New York City’s Bronx moved up three spots to #6, inching closer to the top. Not to be outdone, Queens—NYC’s largest borough—followed along, stopping at #13 this month, six positions higher than last month. Likewise, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston continue their months-long presence among the nation’s top cities for rental activity.

Cities in the Midwest and South are renters' favorites, but suburban areas in the West are quickly catching up

The South is this month’s most sought-after region by renters, maintaining its momentum from last month, as it claims nine cities on the top 30 list, including the #1 spot. There are also a total of four Southern locations in August’s top 10 most in-demand cities for renters. The Midwest comes next with a total of 10 cities in our top 30, followed by the West with seven entries.

Meanwhile, the Midwest’s top city in August is Kansas City, coming in second nationwide after moving up three places since last month. Minneapolis and Cincinnati come next at #3 and #4, respectively, confirming the heartland’s appeal for renters.

Detroit makes impressive comeback as Western suburbs gained traction

Detroit is this month’s highest-ranking new entry at #18 after managing to climb an impressive 107 spots since last month—the most out of all the cities we considered. More precisely, the number of page views for Detroit rental listings increased by 65% year-over-year, as renters favorited 171% more apartments in the city, showing a clear intent to make the move to Motor City.

Chandler, AZ, also made a significant comeback. The Phoenix suburb jumped 68 spots since last month, landing at #20 in the August ranking. Chandler listings attracted 37% more views compared to last August.

Raleigh, NC, is also back on the list at #27 after sliding to the 36th spot last month from June’s top 10. With 1% fewer available listings and double the number of properties favorited by renters compared to last August, this North Carolina tech city continues to attract apartment hunters.

To read the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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