The Hottest U.S. Rental Markets

by | May 6, 2019 | Rental Property Management Tips

Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta are the most popular places to rent, according to analysis conducted by popular rental search platform HotPads. More renters are looking to relocate to these cities while locals don’t want to leave.

HotPads analyzed rental searches on its platform to find the most sought-after areas for renters in the United States and ranked those metro areas based on the number of local rent searches combined with how often a city appeared as a top search destination for out-of-town renters.

Based on that metric, Chicago is the hottest U.S. rental market, with Los Angeles a close second. These areas are hot spots both for local renters looking to make a move and those who are looking to relocate.

Filling out the top 10 markets are:

Atlanta, Ga.;
Seattle, Wash.;
Denver, Colo.;
Philadelphia, Pa.;
San Diego, Calif.;
Tampa, Fl.;
Phoenix, Ariz.; and,
Miami, Fl.

According to HotPads, these metros have strong job markets combined with affordable rents. Many renters in these areas pay 30% or less of income on rent. But Hotpads’ last quarterly rent report shows that rents are growing faster now than last year in most of these cities.

“As the rental market picks up speed, it makes sense that renters would be drawn to areas with strong job markets and relatively affordable housing costs,” said Joshua Clark, economist at HotPads. “However, there are drawbacks to being popular. More new residents typically increase demand for housing, which in turn can make the market more competitive.”

That theory holds in some of the more-expensive rental markets, where current residents are more likely to look somewhere else. For example, about one-third of San Francisco renters search elsewhere, most commonly Los Angeles. About 30 percent of renters searching on HotPads look for homes and apartments outside of their current metro area.

Many affordable metro areas aren’t as popular with outsiders, even though current residents tend to search for rentals close to home. In Richmond and Detroit, for instance, about 75% of renters search locally while few prospective renters from other large markets look for homes in those areas.

HotPads is a Zillow® Group-owned apartment and home search platform for renters in urban areas across the United States. For more information on the U.S. rental market, visit

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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