Now that we are well into October, the CBC team continues to monitor and evaluate the cities with the highest multifamily demand last month. Examining RentCafe’s market insight report reveals renter online activity to identify top in-demand cities for apartments. The Midwest dominated with 11 cities in RentCafe’s ranking, with five in the top 10. New entrants like Chula Vista, CA; Tacoma, WA; and Grand Prairie, TX, reflect the demand from students seeking smaller city living with good schools and jobs. Despite Midwest appeal, big cities still lure apartment hunters, boosting New York City’s Queens to third place and the Bronx to sixth, mirroring August demand. Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Chicago remain in RentCafe’s top 30 in-demand cities, reaffirming urban living’s enduring appeal.
1. Arlington, VA
Just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, Arlington, VA, continues its reign as the top choice for renters in September, marking its third consecutive month at No. 1 on RentCafe.com. The city’s enduring appeal draws apartment hunters primarily from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, thanks to its attractive blend of amenities, job opportunities, and proximity to educational institutions, especially with the new school year underway.
This heightened demand resulted in an 18% reduction in available apartments compared to the previous September. Simultaneously, engagement with apartment listings in the city nearly tripled year-over-year: Page views surged by 184%, favorited apartments increased by 188%, and saved personalized searches rose by 169%.
2. Kansas City, MO
For the second consecutive month, Kansas City secured a position as the Midwest’s top-ranking city, holding steady at No. 2 in September, mirroring August’s ranking as well. Kansas City has remained a sought-after rental destination, consistently within the top five since the start of the 2023 rental season and even claiming the top spot in May and June. RentCafe’s research reveals that KCMO is highly favored by apartment hunters from Chicago and Denver, as well as residents already living in the city.
The appeal of KCMO to renters is evident in the increased traffic to its rental listings. The number of page views for Kansas City listings surged by 162% year-over-year, and renters nearly quadrupled the number of properties added to their favorites list. Additionally, apartment hunters actively search for the perfect rental here, with the number of personalized searches for this location rising by 197% compared to the previous September.
3. Queens, NY
Renters’ affinity for New York City endures, propelling Queens an impressive 10 spots to claim the No. 3 spot. Known for its cultural diversity and suburban ambiance, NYC’s largest borough remains a top choice among renters.
The high demand for apartments in Queens resulted in a remarkable 71% decrease in available listings on RentCafe.com, marking the most substantial reduction among all 150 cities analyzed in the month’s rental activity report. Simultaneously, traffic for Queens’ apartment listings more than tripled compared to the previous September, while renters favorited 12% more rental properties.
Understanding the most in-demand cities for renters is crucial for investors in the real estate market. It provides valuable insights into where potential opportunities and risks lie. By staying on top of these trends, investors can make well-informed decisions regarding property acquisition, development, and management. Knowing the cities that attract more renters allows investors to strategically allocate their resources, anticipate market shifts, and capitalize on the areas with the highest rental demand.