(NEXSTAR) – It’s hard to sum up a year in just a word, but for many around the country, 2022 was simply: expensive.
Inflation and the bounce back from COVID-19 sent the cost of housing through the roof. Nationwide, rent went up about 14% from 2021 to 2022, according to a Credit Karma study. In some states, like Florida, the cost of rent jumped more than 22%, Credit Karma found. Tennessee, South Dakota, New York and North Carolina weren’t far behind.
A study published by RentCafe Monday zooms in even further, looking at which rental markets are most “competitive,” meaning they have lots of prospective renters competing for relatively few vacant apartments or homes. Competition typically drives prices even higher.
While Miami topped the list, a trio of New Jersey and New York markets cracked the top ten.
North Jersey, where 97.2% of apartments are occupied and vacancies exist for just 32 days on average, ranked fifth, according to the study. Not far behind in seventh is Central Jersey, where 96.8% of units are spoken for and the average vacant apartment lasts 41 days.
The Empire State, meanwhile, is represented on the list by Rochester, which ranked ninth with 96.2% of apartments occupied and the average vacancy lasting 35 days.
But Florida’s Miami-Dade County won the dubious distinction, with a stunningly high 97.5% of apartments occupied, according to RentCafe. The sky-high cost of renting is accelerating gentrification in some Miami’s neighborhoods, like Little Haiti. Four more Florida rental markets are in the top 20: Orlando, Southwest Florida, Broward County (which includes Fort Lauderdale) and Tampa.
Several Midwest cities rank among the most competitive markets, from Grand Rapids to Milwaukee and Omaha. Parts of the Northeast beyond New York and New Jersey are also represented, with areas in Pennsylvania and Connecticut ranked. Plus, it’s always expensive out in California, and two of the state’s metro areas are included in the list.
Below are the 20 most “competitive” rental markets, according to RentCafe. Each market’s score was determined by combining five metrics: average number of days an apartment sits vacant, the percentage of apartments that are occupied, the number of prospective renters, lease renewal rate and the share of new apartments.
|Rank||Market||Score||Avg. vacant days||Occupied apartments|
|1||Miami-Dade County, FL||118.0||25||97.5%|
|2||Grand Rapids, MI||112.6||28||96.9%|
|5||North Jersey, NJ||107.5||32||97.2%|
|7||Central Jersey, NJ||96.8||41||96.8%|
|8||Orange County, CA||96.3||31||97.2%|
|12||Suburban Philadelphia, PA||89.5||38||95.8%|
|13||San Diego, CA||82.6||29||97.1%|
|14||Broward County, FL||82.2||34||96.1%|
|18||Suburban Chicago, IL||79.3||34||95.5%|
|19||Bridgeport – New Haven, CT||77.7||33||96.2%|
|20||Lansing – Ann Arbor, MI||77.3||31||95.5%|
What 2023 has in store for renters is yet to be seen, but experts are signaling hope. Fed Chair Jerome Powell, in a speech last week, pointed to the decline in goods prices as an encouraging sign. Powell suggested that housing costs, including rent, which have been a major driver of inflation, should also start to slow next year.
Wholesale prices in the United States rose 7.4% in November from a year earlier, a fifth straight slowdown and a hopeful sign that inflation pressures across the economy are continuing to cool.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.