North Jersey is nation’s most competitive rental market
12 tenants compete for each unit; occupancy at 97%
Miami is hotter than New Jersey, but not when it comes to rentals.
North Jersey was the most competitive rental market in the nation at the start of the year, according to a report from RentCafe. The North Jersey market includes Jersey City, Newark, Hoboken and Hackensack.
The report analyzed 134 markets, calculating a score based on the number of days apartments stay vacant, the occupancy rates, the volume of prospective renters, the percentage of renters who renew leases, and the share of newly completed apartments.
North Jersey had the highest score at 115 out of a maximum of 126. The national average was 60.
North Jersey ranked in the top five in all but one of the metrics. Apartments were vacant for an average of only 34 days and 96.6 percent were occupied. There were 12 prospective tenants competing for each unit and the lease renewal rate was 73.7 percent.
Central Jersey had the highest lease renewal rate among the top 20 most competitive markets.
Florida’s Miami-Dade County was the second most competitive rental market at the start of the year. Other markets in the top 10 included Southwest Florida, Florida’s Broward County, Orlando and suburban Chicago.
Competition became more intense in the Northeast relative to other regions. Among the top 20 most competitive rental markets, 40 percent were in the region. Besides the aforementioned markets, its hotspots included Harrisburg, Central Jersey, Brooklyn, suburban Philadelphia, Bridgeport-New Haven, Pittsburgh and the greater Boston area.
Overall, competition across the nation appears to be easing slightly, even as apartment construction has ebbed and mortgage costs have sidelined would-be homebuyers. The number of prospective tenants per unit dropped from 11 last year to 8 this year, while the average length of vacancy increased by nearly a week.
There was also a smaller share of renters renewing leases in the last quarter, as well as a slightly lower occupancy rate.