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While Miami continues to lead the America’s Hottest Rental Markets list for the beginning of 2024, competition out of the Midwest is rising quickly. According to RentCafe’s latest Market Competitivity Report, Milwaukee has become the second hottest renting location in the first months of 2024.

Considering the number of days apartments were vacant, the percentage of apartments that were occupied, the number of prospective renters competing for an apartment, the percentage of renters who renewed their leases, and the share of new apartments recently completed, the national Rental Competitive Score (RCS) is 73.4.

Primarily due to the Midwest’s affordability and reinvented economy as a tech and manufacturing hub, Milwaukee’s RCS is an 87 out of 100 compared with Miami’s 91.9. According to the report, the Midwest secured seven spots among the nation’s top 20 hottest rental markets.

The average number of days an apartment is vacant in Miami is 36, closely followed by 37 days in Milwaukee and 38 days in North New Jersey, which is No. 3 on the list and leading the Northeast. Miami’s number of prospective renters competing for an apartment at 14 trumps Milwaukee and North Jersey’s count of nine, while all three boast occupancy rates of 95.1% and above.

The top 20 markets include:

  1. Miami-Dade
  2. Milwaukee
  3. North Jersey
  4. Suburban Chicago
  5. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  6. Oklahoma City
  7. Bridgeport-New Haven, Connecticut
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Lansing-Ann Arbor, Michigan
  10. Orlando, Florida
  11. Orange County, California
  12. Brooklyn, New York
  13. Omaha, Nebraska
  14. Southwest Florida
  15. Eastern Virginia
  16. Kansas City, Kansas
  17. Tampa, Florida
  18. San Diego
  19. Suburban Philadelphia
  20. Silicon Valley, California

Comparing the averages for the start of 2024 with last year, the number of renters competing for a vacant apartment is seven compared with eight in 2023, while the average number of days rentals remained vacant is 41 compared with 38 in 2023.

For the start of 2024, 61.5% of renters renewed their leases compared with 60.7% in 2023. The average occupancy rate for 2024 is 93% compared with 94.2%. This could partly be due to the percentage of available apartments that are newly built at 0.67% this year compared with 0.43% in 2023.