The Hottest Rental Markets of 2023 (So Far) Are Actually Surprising

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Rapid inflation, interest rate hikes, high home prices, and rising costs of living are causing more and more renters to reconsider their housing options in 2023. The beginning of the year saw many people start looking for newer rental markets that better fit their budgets.


While the Sun Belt states, known for their warmer climates and business-friendly environment, were formerly go-to locations with renters, now a surprising trend is beginning to take shape. Renters are flocking to the northeastern states, with eight rental markets ranking in the top 20 hot spots, according to a new report from RentCafe.

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North Jersey remains an ideal rental spot for aspiring homebuyers, providing an affordable cost of living within the tri-state area. This allows renters to save for a down payment and wait for the housing market to become more favorable. North Jersey has now become the most popular rental market in the U.S. as of early 2023, beating out the previous hottest market, Miami, Florida.

The Hottest Rental Markets in the U.S. at the Beginning of 2023

1. North Jersey, NJ

11. Orange County, CA

2. Miami-Dade County, FL

12. Central Jersey, NJ

3. Harrisburg, PA

13. San Diego, CA

4. Grand Rapids, MI

14. Brooklyn, NY

5. Omaha, NE

15. Suburban Philadelphia, PA

6. Southwest Florida

16. Bridgeport-New Haven, CT

7. Milwaukee, WI

17. Kansas City, KS

8. Broward County, FL

18. Pittsburgh, PA

9. Orlando, FL

19. Greater Boston, MA

10. Suburban Chicago, IL

20. Eastern Los Angeles County, CA

Brooklyn, New York, is an intriguing example of limited new apartment availability. Ranking fourteenth, the desirable borough of N.Y.C. remains a magnet for transplants from across the country, including rent-challenged Manhattanites. These newcomers and existing renters all compete to live in the Big Apple, despite its high cost of living and shortage of available rental units.

Boston took 19th place in the ranking of rental markets. For over two and a half years, the city's cramped apartments and costly living had been driving people away. But with eased pandemic restrictions allowing workers to return to the office and students back to in-person classes, the pressure on the housing market increased. According to the study, 95.3% of apartments for rent in the city were occupied at the start of 2023 and 60.9% of renters chose not to move.

Did your current (or future) market make the list?



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